Oregon-based SeQuential Biofuels and other low-carbon fuel makers are lobbying the 2013 state Legislature to vote for new rules that set a low-carbon fuel standard for fuel suppliers.
The Clean Fuels Program would cut carbon emissions associated with fuel to 10 percent below 2010 levels by 2020, but it will take a vote by the Legislature to launch it. Opponents of the program say it will raise the cost of fuel and hurt the economy, but supporters are hoping it will boost producers of biofuels.
Gavin Carpenter, director of sales for SeQuential Biodiesel, said the rules would create demand for his company's biodiesel and give biodiesel makers more buying power in the cooking oil market. Right now, he said, about 35 to 40 percent of the cooking oil on the market goes toward making biodiesel.
"It would make a huge difference," he said. “We do compete with other companies for cooking oil. A lot of times it goes to livestock feed, or it’s shipped to the highest bidder in China or overseas. There's much more of the market we could get."
SeQuential is collecting grease from restaurants and has also started a collection program for household cooking oil. You can take your oil to Far West Fibers locations in Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro and Lake Oswego, and SeQuential will turn it into biofuel.
The company is also looking at using the small percentage of oil that gets rinsed down drains and ends up at wastewater treatment plants, which could add up to a significant source of biodiesel feedstock if it were collected on a large scale.