04.20.09

For Earth Day, Whitehouse Learns from Local Businesses, Consumers About Alternative Energy Option

Lincoln, R.I. - As the nation prepares to celebrate Earth Day, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today joined a group of Rhode Island small businesses working together to cut down on pollution here in our Ocean State by producing and distributing biodiesel. Whitehouse visited the home of Michael and Lee Ann Conway, a Lincoln family who heats their home with this locally produced, renewable fuel.

Also on hand were representatives from three local businesses - Newport Biodiesel, TH Malloy and Sons, Inc., and Gregg's Restaurants - who have teamed up to make biodiesel available to local consumers.

"Biodiesel is a simple alternative to traditional fuel that can cut down on toxic emissions and boost our local economy," said Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. "As this Earth Day approaches, Rhode Islanders should know that this renewable resource is available as an option to heat their homes or run their cars - and it's being produced right in our own backyard."

Newport Biodiesel collects used fryer oil from restaurants around the state, and converts it to clean biodiesel at its plant on Aquidneck Island. TH Malloy & Sons Inc., a fuel delivery company based in Cumberland, partners with Newport Biodiesel to deliver the finished product to homes and businesses looking for an alternative to traditional heating oil. Newport Biodiesel also produces clean burning biodiesel for use in cars, trucks, boats, and other engines that run on standard petroleum-based diesel. Whitehouse heard from both companies - as well as a representative from Gregg's Restaurants, one of the largest contributors of used oil to Newport Biodiesel - about the benefits of biodiesel for local businesses and our environment.

Any diesel engine or oil furnace can run on biodiesel. Little or no modifications are necessary to make the switch to this renewable fuel, which is known to significantly reduce toxic carbon dioxide emissions - a leading cause of global warming.

Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has been active in efforts to address global climate change, particularly its threat to ocean and coastal ecosystems.

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