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Author: Subject: Alternative Fuels and Rock and Roll

Universal Peach





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  posted on 8/9/2006 at 03:32 AM
This is from the Pollstar site. I guess with fuel prices going up, touring artist are starting to see the benefit of using alternative fuels. Wonder how long it will be before some major trucking line starts using alternative fuels? With fuels prices going up and with the government giving a .99 cent a gallon rebate to use alternative fuels, that in time it might be cost effective to go with an alternative fuel, such as the soy diesel blend.

Soy Diesel On
The Roadshow
Updated 01:47 PDT Mon, Aug 07 2006

As artists such as Neil Young, Willie Nelson and others spread the word on the benefits of using alternative fuels for a greener future, a San Francisco-based touring transport company has taken that mission one step further.

Roadshow Services Vice President Sean O'Rourke said he and president David Kiely started working on a plan to modify the company's fleet of trucks to use cleaner-burning biodiesel after a conversation with Young's tour production staff about three years ago.

"We'd been working with Neil on the Bridge School benefits for the last couple of years, so I'd been asking Neil's production if we could take a shot at the tour trucking," O'Rourke told Pollstar. "They said ‘Yeah, with one caveat that you figure out how to power your trucks with biodiesel.'

"We came up with a plan and did the final leg of [Young's 2004] Greendale tour on B100 at the time. It had been running generators at Lollapalooza and some artists had instructed their trucking company to take on a blend like B5, but nobody had gone with what they call a ‘neat' product, which is straight-up, undiluted, 100 percent soy diesel."

As word began to spread, O'Rourke said artists including The String Cheese Incident and Jack Johnson adopted the same model of using transports fueled with biodiesel or related blends.

"This year it really caught fire," he said. "At this point, artists like Willie Nelson (who markets his "Bio Willie Diesel"), Bonnie Raitt and the Vans Warped Tour are experimenting with biodiesel. They're running B20, which is 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

"Although we're pioneers in terms of our industry in making this happen, it really needs to be brought up that you don't have to do 80 percent petroleum and 20 percent biodiesel. You could go with the ‘neat' product and really kick it into high gear in terms of being an agent of change."

Biodiesel gets the same mileage per gallon as regular diesel, O'Rourke said, and a government rebate of 99 cents per gallon to those who use alternative fuels keeps the cost in line with the price of regular diesel, which he says averages $2.99 per gallon nationwide. That comes in handy for the 30 to 40 tours the company works per year.

"Roadshow is buying biodiesel in such quantities for many tours happening at the same time, I'm able to identify one of my vendors and say, ‘What kind of price per gallon can you give me if I buy 10,000 gallons?'" O'Rourke said. "They're selling me a lot of biodiesel at a screamin' rate and I'm able to pass those savings on to the touring artists."

The company, which also teams with Florida Coach in Kissimmee, Fla., contracts with about a dozen farm co-ops and manufacturers throughout the U.S. for refueling stops during a tour, keeping in mind tight schedules that must be kept on the road.

"We've had our challenges, but all personnel and all gear has arrived at a venue when it was scheduled without fail for all 1 million miles' worth of B100 trucking that we've done," O'Rourke said.

Current and upcoming tours using vehicles running on B99 include Melissa Etheridge, String Cheese Incident, Pearl Jam, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, which has the largest biodiesel fleet with 18 trucks and buses.

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/9/2006 at 10:52 AM
That's cool. I'm a big proponent of bio-diesel. I'd sure like to see the car companies put small diesel engines in the showrooms. A diesel VW gets 40+ mpg

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 8/9/2006 at 11:18 AM
Their influence can only help

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 8/10/2006 at 08:31 AM
This is good news, indeed. Not only am I in sight of the largest wind mill farm this side of the Mississippi, but there are currently two ethanol plants being built and one more on the drawing board within about 100 miles of where I live. Also, a biodiesel plant is being proposed to the pertinant planning boards for St. Lawrence County, which is the next county over from mine ( in upstate, NY). Thanks to the leadership of our exiting Governor, George Pataki, NYS is now mandated to have 25% of its power generated by altenative energy within about 10 years. Biodiesel will make a huge impact locally as we have large dairy farms who use huge amounts of diesel fuel. Since we're also up in the "boondocks," nearly everything is trucked in and out. This dilema results in even more use of diesel fuel by trucking companies, small shipping companies, etc....

Something else you may find interesting is the fact that any individual can make biodiesel in their garage. At the technology center I work at, we have a course offering called Gas & Diesel Mechanics. Each year we have a professor from SUNY Canton in Canton, NY visit the program to demonstrate this process to our students. This individual commutes about 1.5 hours each day to SUNY Canton. He makes his own biodiesel each weekend from vegetable oil he gets free of charge from restaurants, businesses, etc., thereby saving literally thousands of dollars per year and utilizing a waste product business owner must pay to have removed. He drives a volkswagon equipped with a diesel.....Very cool stuff on the horizon my friends.

Yet another example of why high gas prices actually have a silver lining. The relatively short term pain will be ultimatley a gain for the earth, our economy, and hopefully this nations foreign policy. Imagine being able to completely walk away from the Middle East within 20-30 years? If only we can loosen the stranglehold the oil companies have on our government long enough to make this a reality.

[Edited on 8/10/2006 by Chain]

 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 8/10/2006 at 08:33 AM
Chain:

Great post. Thanks for the info. I am hoping all that and more can be accomplished.

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 8/10/2006 at 08:49 AM
No problem....As a state, NY is really on the cutting edge of alternative energy production. Besides the wind farm I mentioned in my previous post, there are three more being proposed in the Thousand Islands region (Clayton, Cape Vincent, Morristown, NY) and two on the other side of the Adirondack Park, one on Gore Mountain (highest peak in NY) and one on the edge of Lake Champlain. The Biodiesel stuff has really got people excited, however. Between it and Ethanol, farmers stand to make out big time, not only in terms of fuel savings, but also because they can grow the crops necessary for its production, i.e new markets for their goods. It's a win-win! I'm still trying to figure out how I can also take advantage of these new opportunities....
 
 


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