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    New York Christens First Biodiesel Pump

    Governor calls for bill designed to encourage petroleum marketers to explore fuel alternatives.

    TROY, N.Y. -- New York Gov. George Pataki christened the state's first retail biodiesel fuel pump Monday in Troy, N.Y., pumping a soybean/diesel fuel blend into a car owned by John Ray & Sons, the company that installed the pump.

    According to a report in The (Albany) Business Review, Pataki joined state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, in praising Ken Ray Jr., the CEO of John Ray & Sons, a family-owned energy company, for making the environmentally friendly fuel available.

    "You are paving the way for the future," Pataki said during the event at Ray & Sons headquarters.

    Pataki used the opportunity to tout proposed initiatives designed to encourage service stations to sell biodiesel and E85 ethanol/gasoline fuel at their pumps.

    The governor said he wants the legislature to approve a bill that will allow gas stations to abrogate contracts that require them to sell fuel provided by only one company. Since most major fuel companies don't supply alternative fuels, service stations are bound by their contracts not to offer those fuels, the governor said.

    Pataki also said he wants the state to abolish taxes on biodiesel and E85 to make those fuels less costly and more attractive to consumers. Gas stations along the New York State Thruway will soon be offering the biodiesel and E85 fuels, Pataki said.

    Ray said his company decided to offer the B20 biodiesel -- a blend of 20 percent soybean oil and 80 percent diesel fuel -- because customers had been requesting it. He also wants Ray & Sons to be out in front as this market develops.

    Ray & Sons provides heating oil and propane to homeowners and also provides diesel fuel and gasoline to construction site operators. The 42-employee company, which was founded in 1901 to sell coal and ice, also installs solar energy systems, Ray said.

    The company took a 2,000 gallon tank which had held kerosene and filled it with biodiesel instead.

    What made that decision feasible was the installation of storage for 20,000 gallons of biodiesel fuel and blending station by Sprague Energy Corp. of Portsmouth, N.H., at its Port of Albany terminal.

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