Mississippi Confirms Biodiesel Feasibility

March 19, 2004

With gasoline prices at an all-time high, the Mississippi Alternative Energy Enterprise released a study on the feasibility of developing a biodiesel industry in the state. The agency released the study on National Biodiesel Day, March 18, which draws attention to the benefits of this renewable fuel produced from fats and oils.

The study found that biodiesel is in its infancy as a technology and is poised for rapid growth. More importantly, the study found that Mississippi has the key ingredients necessary to participate in and benefit from that growth. The study examined the costs of production and the costs for state agencies to begin to use the fuel. It examined the benefits to reducing dependence on foreign oil and increasing energy security, plus the economic benefits of developing an indigenous fuel supply. Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Lester Spell said, "Biofuels provide job opportunities and create new markets for farmers and the commodities that are grown each year in Mississippi."

The study was funded by grants from the Mississippi Land, Water and Timber Resources Board and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through the Southern States Energy Board. The Mississippi Development Authority has published the report online.