Willie Nelson opens biodiesel plant

Willie Nelson has long championed the use of biodiesel among the nation's truckers. On July 3 in Carl's Corner TX, the musician celebrated the opening of his joint venture production plant, Pacific Biodiesel Texas.

The plant joins 65 others throughout the nation; another 49 plants are under construction. Pacific Biodiesel officials report the capacity of the plant in Carl's Corner to be 2 million gallons annually. Pacific Biodiesel, the technology provider and major partner, is based in Hawaii and has produced biodiesel there since 1996. Those stepping up to provide capital include former Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson, investment broker Monk White, and nine other investors.

Off Highway 35 south of Dallas, Carl's Corner is an established truck stop and official biodiesel retail station. Since October 2004, the truck stop, which is also incorporated as a town, has sold Nelson's brand of B20 (20% biodiesel mixed with 80% diesel).

According to the Energy Information Administration, the United States uses about 20 million barrels of oil a day and imports more than half of that oil. By 2025, demand is expected to rise to 26 million barrels a day — about 60% of which will be imported. The nation spends about $475,000 a minute on foreign oil.

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