Senator Parker introduces the Thruway to Fuelway Bill S.3558

                                            FROM THE OFFICE OF STATE SENATOR KEVIN PARKER

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                                                                                                                                                   Contact: Ricja Rice
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                                       Senator Kevin Parker Creates Program to Grow Bio-Fuel along the Thruway

                           “Thruway to Fuelway” Pilot Program will Increase New York’s Energy Security (Brooklyn, NY)

Senator Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) introduced legislation today designed to reduce New York’s reliance on imported diesel fuel and “green” the State’s fleet of vehicles. In addition to lowering emissions, the “Thruway to Fuelway” pilot program would also lower or eliminate the State’s costs for mowing and tending the Thruway’s median strips.

“New York State agencies and authorities use more than 55 million gallons of diesel fuel per year,” said Senator Parker. “By producing bio-fuel in unused lands along the Thruway, my legislation will increase New York’s energy independence, lower diesel emissions and lower the State’s costs for vehicle fuel.”

The “Thruway to Fuelway” pilot program would replace existing grasses and other vegetation along the New York State Thruway median strips with bio-fuel crops such as soy, canola, jatropha, mahua, mustard, flax, sunflower, palm oil and field pennycress. These bio-fuel
feedstocks can be converted into bio-diesel and used in standard diesel engines without modification. The use of such bio-diesel in the state’s vehicle fleet would lower emissions, increase diversity of fuel sources and improve New York’s energy security and economy.

Senator Parker, who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Energy Committee, is proposing this legislation as a two-year pilot program. When enacted, the Thruway Authority will use this pilot program to determine the fiscal viability and survivability of using the Thruway median strip plantings as a source of bio-fuel. The authority will also study a variety of cost-benefit factors arising from the growth and harvesting of the bio-fuel crops, including the expected revenue or value of fuel potentially accruing to the state if the total acreage of the thruway right-of-way was intensively farmed with bio-fuel feedstock by a private vendor or vendors under a revenue contract with the authority.

About Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Kevin S. Parker is committed to restoring the overall quality of life for the constituents of the 21st Senatorial District in Brooklyn. A lifelong Brooklyn resident, Senator Parker has been a Flatbush resident for more than 27 years. Having been nurtured, schooled and employed in the district, Senator Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of this ethnically diverse community that consists of 311,000
constituents in several communities that include: Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington and Borough Park.