Raitt hits the road for her year-long Souls Alike Tour.
The Guacamole Fund
will be coordinating the use of biodiesel in Bonnie's tour buses and trucks.
The tour continues the Green Highway mission promoting biodiesel, the environment,
and alternative energy solutions. Learn More at www.biodiesel.org
buses pull into town
Musician promotes use of clean-burning fuel
By DON JACOBS,
musician Bonnie Raitt stopped Saturday at a Knoxville fueling station to
champion national security.
was promoting the use of biodiesel while the fuel tanks on her tour buses
were topped off with the environmentally friendly substance. But she noted
how increased use of biodiesel will help reduce the nation's reliance on
foreign oil is just crippling us," the activist said, adding that the nation's
foreign policy could be free of energy considerations with increased use
of domestic fuels.
Raitt said this
is the second tour during which her two buses and two tractor-trailer rigs
will be powered by biodiesel. The current tour, which is winding down,
will have covered about 20,000 miles, she said.
made from soybean oil or animal fat or even restaurant grease. It can be
used at a 100 percent concentration in diesel engines but is more popular
in a B20 mix, which is 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent regular diesel.
Raitt is putting
her name, fame and money toward the cause of increased biodiesel usage.
"Every time I
do an interview, I talk about biodiesel," Raitt said outside Regal Petroleum's
fueling station on Proctor Street, the only public biodiesel pumping location
in Knox County.
Raitt said she
expects biodiesel to be the beneficiary of "an explosion of opportunity."
"After the heating
and gas costs this winter, you can bet this will explode on us," the redhead
said under a cloudless blue sky.
"The only time
people want to change is when it hits their wallet, and that's happening
now," she added.
Raitt said she
is tithing profits from her tour toward biodiesel education programs. For
her performance at the Tennessee Theater, Raitt donated 50 seats to the
East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition, which is spearheading the biodiesel
movement in the region.
executive director of the ETCFC, said the agency he started in 2002 hopes
to raise $3,000 to $4,000 from Raitt's donated tickets. While the regular
tickets quickly sold out at $57 each, Overly said his group is getting
$150 to $300 per ticket, which includes a dessert with Raitt after the
in early 2004 that there were no biodiesel stations in East Tennessee.
With cities, counties and businesses across the region embracing biodiesel
use, 16 stations providing biodiesel now dot the area from Chattanooga
to Johnson City.
Bill Haslam joined the group of about a dozen people at the fueling station
for Raitt's press conference. The mayor, who said he intended to attend
Raitt's performance, noted that 80 percent of the Knoxville Area Transit
buses burn B20. Up to 20 percent of the city's diesel vehicles use biodiesel,
and Haslam said he wants to increase that number.
executive director of the Tennessee Soybean Promotion Board, said 25 million
gallons of biodiesel were consumed nationwide last year. This year, he
said he expects about 75 million gallons will be burned.
200 (million) to 250 million gallons to be used next year," Wells said.
"It's just a
cleaner fuel. It's biodegradable and the truckers like it," he added.
Don Jacobs may
be reached at 865-342-6345.
East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (ETCFC)