Smith, Wyden secure funding for biodiesel plant

January 15, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: January 15, 2008

Port of Umatilla to Get New Biodiesel Plant
Plant Will Produce 5 Million Gallons of Oregon Grown and Refined Biodiesel a Year.

- Washington, D.C. - Oregon Senators Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden have secured federal funding for the Port of Umatilla to receive a $500,000 grant to construct a new biodiesel refining plant. Once completed, the plant will supply Oregon with 5 million gallons of biodiesel a year.

`iWe should be looking inside not outside our country for new sources of energy,^i said Smith. `iThe new plant will rely on local farmers, not foreign oil sources, to help generate an environmentally friendly fuel. Whether it is a farmer, a biodiesel plant worker or someone filling up their tank, this fuel will come from and be used by Oregonians.^i

`iThis plant represents a homegrown solution to our expanding energy needs,^i said Wyden. `iRather than simply continuing to send our money to oil companies and Middle Eastern countries that support terrorist organizations, we can wisely leverage federal resources to find sustainable solutions to America's dependence on foreign oil."

`iWe appreciate the bipartisanship that made this appropriation possible. Senators Smith and Wyden in cooperation with Congressmen Blumenauer and Walden passed important legislation on behalf of the citizens of the State of Oregon," said Kim Puzey, the general manager of the Port of Umatilla. `iBiodiesel is one of the alternative fuels of the future. This appropriation benefits the local economy and the agricultural sector without the detriments of higher food prices and negative environmental impacts."

In addition to producing biodiesel, the plant will also generate Canola meal. All the material that will be refined into biodiesel and Canola meal will come from Oregon wheat growers. Canola meal is a widely used animal feed that is rich in vitamins and proteins; it is also used as an organic fertilizer. The Canola meal will primarily be used to supplement livestock production in Oregon and Washington. The plant is expected to produce over 79 million pounds of Canola meal a year in addition to 5 million gallons of biodiesel. The finished product will be shipped out of the Port of Umatilla and take the 160 mile trip down the Columbia River to be sold in the Portland metropolitan area.

The project has received strong support from the Oregon Wheat Growers Association, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla and the City of Portland.

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