I have never been to New York City. However,  Joe Smentek, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Executive Director was in New York City on behalf of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. Joe was joined by five other Minnesota soybean farmer leaders on the trip. The group toured New York City as part of a National Biodiesel Board sponsored trip to learn more about New York City's increasing use of biofuels to clean up the air.

The trip was focused on New York City using more biodiesel in city fleets and in heating oil. Here in the mid-west communities and cities mainly use natural gas as a major energy source for heating homes and business. The natural gas is supplied by an extensive underground pipeline system. However, in the eastern United States heating oil is the major source of heat. Heating oil is similar to diesel fuel. Heating oil dose not burn nearly as clean as natural gas. So, air quality is a major concern, especially in large cities.

New York City is experimenting with using higher blends of Biodiesel in city fleets and heating oil to clean up the air. They reported to the Minnesota Soybean Growers that biodiesel is a reliable fuel. Currently they are blending five percent biodiesel for their fleet and heating oil. The biodiesel blend will increase to 20 percent by 2034. Yes, Minnesota soybean farmers are helping to fuel New York City's fleet, and helping heat their homes and business!

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