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Willie Nelson, Pacific Biodiesel open biodiesel plant in Texas
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Opening biodiesel pumps at truck stops throughout the nation, Willie Nelson has long championed the use of biodiesel among the nation’s truckers. On July 3 in Carl’s Corner, Texas, Nelson celebrated the opening of his joint venture production plant, Pacific Biodiesel Texas.

When deciding on a date for the grand opening, Nelson and Pacific Biodiesel settled on the July 4th holiday week because, as Nelson put it, “this will be a true Texas Independence Day.”

The plant joins 65 others throughout the nation. Another 49 plants under construction are bursting forth like fireworks. Pacific Biodiesel officials report the capacity of the plant in Carl’s Corner to be 2 million gallons annually. Pacific Biodiesel, the technology provider and major partner, is based in Hawaii and has produced biodiesel there since 1996. Those stepping up to provide capital include former Mavericks’ coach Don Nelson, well-known investment broker Monk White, and nine other investors.

Located off Highway 35 south of Dallas, Carl’s Corner is an established truck stop and official biodiesel retail station. Since October 2004, the truck stop, which is also incorporated as a town, has sold Nelson’s brand of B20 (20 percent biodiesel mixed with 80 percent diesel). Nelson started his company, “Willie Nelson’s Biodiesel,” with partners Cornelius and Distribution Drive to improve air quality and help America’s family farmers find new uses for their products.

The July 3 celebration of the plant opening was held in conjunction with an all day concert at Carl’s Corner, a replica of Nelson’s annual 4th of July picnic at the Stockyards in Fort Worth.

“The plant opening’s timing around the Independence Day holiday couldn’t be better, as Americans increasingly recognize the importance of energy independence,” said Darryl Brinkmann, Chairman of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and an Illinois soybean farmer. “All-time high fuel prices and ongoing tensions in the Middle East underscore the need to increase our nation’s use of domestically produced fuels like biodiesel and ethanol to help break the hold of imported oil.”

This farm news was published in the July 5, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.