Many people are unaware that the City of Portland is the only city in the United States to require that all diesel sold in the city limits contain a minimum blend of 5% biodiesel, which is commonly referred to as "B5." Commissioner Leonard authored and passed this law in 2006, and in July of 2007, the law went into effect and all diesel fuel pumps in the city began dispensing biodiesel.
Since then, this unique legislation has resulted in approximately 3 million gallons of biodiesel sold in Portland each year, which helps support our local farmers and biodiesel producers and reduces our reliance on foreign petroleum interests.
Currently, all auto manufacturers who build diesel engines recommend biodiesel blends up to B5, with some recommending up to B20 (20% biodiesel). When the ordinance was written, it called for the City's minimum blend requirement to be increased to B10 (10% biodiesel) in July 2010, but auto manufacturers have not uniformly tested and approved blends higher than B5, so the City council will consider a report that recommends the current B5 requirement be continued for the forseeable future to allow more time for auto manufacturers to approve a higher blend.
"Portland's biodiesel initiative has been a true success," said Commissioner Leonard, "We need to preserve that success by being prudent with the expansion of this law."
The report is on the Council Agenda for March 3.