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Subject:   Partnership Expands Clean Air Program: Fueling Metro Transit buses with biodiesel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions
For Immediate Release:   
10/26/2004  12:00:00 PM
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SEATTLE - The City of Seattle today joined with King County Metro Transit to begin fueling buses with a combination of biodiesel, a clean fuel made from vegetable oil, and ultra low sulfur diesel. Biodiesel reduces the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming by 78% and allows fewer harmful particulates into our atmosphere.

The biodiesel portion of the fuel mix will be funded though Seattle City Light's Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Program. This boosts the utility's progress towards its goal of being greenhouse gas neutral in 2005. The partnership with King County Metro makes the transit system the largest biodiesel-powered fleet in the state.

"I am proud that our city leads the way in using clean fuels as we aggressively pursue Seattle's goal of powering our city with no net greenhouse gas emissions," said Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. "We are also contributing to a significant improvement in air quality. This effort reduces the agency's reliance on imported oil while increasing statewide demand for the alternative fuel by an estimated 30 percent."

Metro's consumption of up to one-half million gallons of biodiesel over the next two years will also help stimulate the production of farm commodities that are used to manufacture biodiesel, creating benefits for both the environment and economy.

Seattle City Light is the first utility in the country to commit to meet all electrical-load growth with conservation and renewable energy and become greenhouse-gas neutral by 2005.

"City Light is one of the greenest utilities in the nation, but we do produce some greenhouse gas emissions," said Superintendent Jorge Carrasco. "We look outside the utility for partnerships like this that offset those emissions and at the same time benefit the utility and the community."

Seattle has already made significant progress. City government reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 48 percent in the decade from 1990 to the year 2000. City Light's conservation programs and the use of alternative fuels in the City of Seattle's vehicle fleet are big contributors to those reductions. The City's vehicle fleet uses biodiesel; through an agreement with Seattle Public Utilities, commercial garbage trucks downtown use biodiesel, and City Light funds the use of biodiesel to power Washington State Ferries serving Fauntleroy, Vashon and Southworth. To meet its greenhouse gas neutral goal by 2005, City Light will offset 200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of removing 22,548 cars from the road for a year. For more information about protecting the environment, visit the mayor's web site at www.seattle.gov/mayor/issues/eaa.htm or Seattle City Light's website at: www.seattle.gov/light/conserve/globalwarming/#biodiesel.

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