Biodiesel gaining steam in San Leandro?

Think you have to drive far to find a healthy alternative to that fossil fuel of a thing we call gasoline? Well, think again.

The Western States Oil Co. station in San Leandro, 2709 Teagarden St., has just recently started selling biodiesel (so I’ve been told). While most of its customers are commercial trucks, the station also sells biodiesel to a modest amount of noncommercial vehicles as well — and it seems to be gaining interest among Earth-conscious Bay Area drivers.

An official with the company says the biodiesel is more popular with customers at its San Jose station, but he said those who come to the San Leandro station travel from as far away as Berkeley. (To partake in the B99 biodiesel, you have to sign up on a user’s group.)

Apparently, there are nearly 20 other biodiesel stations between Santa Cruz and Fairfield, according to Biodiesel.org — the nearest one to this area being in Berkeley.

Could it be that Western States Oil’s San Leandro station is next up on the Bay Area’s biodiesel horizon? Or has it just been overlooked? I guess only time (and maybe gas prices) will tell.


  • J. W. Kyle

    One of the heaviest users of diesel is easily recognized. It are trucks, sre it not?

    Look Marty,look! All those trucks in the AM commute on Altamont or WB I-80 which are headed toward the Cities along the bay are creeping in the traffic at very limited speed. In that inch worm traffic, they achieve well below the 3 miles per gallon they get on the open highway.

    Look Marty,Look! All those trucks in the PM commute toward Altamont or on EB I-80 are headed east to find a truck stop at which they can unwind in a safe location, after a tough day in the Bay Area. Or, to use the inter-state highways or the intra-state roadbeds and they are creeping at very low speed, avcheiving well below the 3 miles per gallon they get on the open highway!

    Read Marty,read! Truckers are limited to the driving hours permissable in a day or week. The creeping commute highway condition eats into their permissable driving time! Thus,they ‘layover’ on off ramps, squeeze out travelers at rest stops or better yet they violate the rules, drive longer than permitted and have ‘commute bustin’ axcydents which really tick off typical commuters of auto type transport, especially those who wait out the ‘clearing of the road’ with engines running.

    Why not convert Golden Gate Fields to a real money making Truck Stop? Lad Broke is known to have been looking for a site neaar Dixon, on I-80 about 10 miles east of Sacramento. Then too, why not convert the Livermore acreage at the North West end of the Livermiore Airport just east of El Charro Rd overcrossing. That was a gift to the City from FAA with the proviso that it not be built out with noise sensitive uses. ( Belive it or not, that is seen as a reaction to noise ordinances, the very last of which laws was formalized and effective on Hayward Airport in January 1992. No new hangars have been built, or more importantly, (in the minds of the yokels on Livrmore Council,) no auto dealers have rushed to lease that site, especially since the last thing needed in tri-valley area, is another auto dealership!

    Did you know that the State of California Air Quality Control Commission would encourage s truck stop within the Bay area for the simple reason that air quality would improve if the trucks traveled at faster, more fuel efficient speeds during the period of time when commute autos virtually disappear. (The nite time1) Do you not know that truckers who meet the standards for permissable driving time cause fewer accidents?

    Do you not know that there is no reason for trucks to idle their engines at modern truck stops?

    Truck stops are money makers (and Tax producers) and not the scene of drug dealing, whacked out truck drivers looking to steal the use of local wives or steal another guy’s cargo?

    Look Marty, Look! A very large hotelier recently bought out two major truck stop ‘chains !

    Travel America and Petro’s were bought by a LARGE Corporation which uses names like Best Western, Holliday Inn,Marriott etc. They paid close to $2 billion in 2007 to buy the above mentioned ‘chain’ operated truck stops where truckers can get a square meal,shower,do the laundry, phone home. use the internet, find really good restaurants, and best of all, buy products in on site stores or purchase fuel while affording the local yokels, many good jobs and sales tax income as well as space on the highways.

    Best of all trucks are less problematical on local commute arteries which in turn offers them opportunity to generate the income to purchase fewer gallons of dieael while providing us with the supplies for our life styles while not adding disproportionately to the local cost of living. (Gee, do we reaally want the price of condoms and beer to get entirely out of hand?)

    If you don’t get it Marty, don’t worry, local polital types as well as those we elect to higher state and national offices don’t get it either. All that money fed into the US Dept. of Transportatiohn……? well, 2/3 of it goes to FAA which needs help in untangling the air routes and ‘improving’ all kinds of local airports where technology is limiteed to wind socks.

    Now that some airlines are abandoning or scheduling fewer flights into Oakland, the I-880 mess will straighten itself out ! we won’t need to sit out the unravelling of multi-vehicle accidents etc. Right?

  • Martin Ricard

    Mr. Kyle,

    I’m not really sure whether your point was clearly made, but if what you were saying is “Why aren’t more big rigs using biodiesel because, since they contribute to a lot of our pollution, they would certainly do the rest of us all a favor by using it?” then I would probably have to say point well taken. I don’t know yet why more trucks aren’t taking advantage of the alternative fuel. But maybe that’s something you could bring up with the DOT or Pete Stark, or maybe even the local air control board. And, oh yeah, the name’s Martin, not Marty (as you sarcastically put it).

  • J. W. Kyle

    Well, sometimes my sense of humor runs away to gosh knows where…

    What I find hard to accept is the distance people will travel in order to buy bio-fuels, that seems to me to be an act of economic waste as well as pollution in itself.

    A few evenings ago, there was a serious presentation on the telly which described the bargins in fuel being obtained by Southern California construction craftsmen who spend goodly sums to install a supplementary fuel tank in their F-150’s for the purpose of travel into Mexico at the California border. They load up with 70 or more gallons of fuel at Pemex prices but spend as much as two hours in line at the ‘re-entry’ line into California. This time consuming trip over no small distance, saves as much as $150 (US) for the equiv- alent amount of fuel at US stations.

    We are using soy bean and corn crops to manufacture ethanol which when blended with gas saves a large amount of oil. Yet, a south American nation is producing ETHANOL FROM SUGAR CANE which can not be imported economicaly into the US, because of the high tariffs we impose on imported ethanol.

    Use of corn or soy beans for ethanol has cut down on exports as well as the availability of those harvests in US for consumption by humans and the cattle industry. The world has no great shortage of sugar… so which do you think we ought give up? Tariffs or food for human consumption?

    Bio-diesel is great but what is the source and depth of the existing supply of material which is added to manufactured fuel? What sort of quantity exists?

    Want to do a real story? Try an in depth examination of the the economic loss occurring within areas peripheral to SF Bay. Congestion causes monetary losses experienced by trucking industry as result of inch worm traffic into and out of the SF Bay Area Metropolitan District. It imposes a huge loss of fuel because of truck involvment with inch worm traffic. Consider the effect upon truckers who need a safe place, with food and rest amenity. in close to the bay so as to rest up and stay out of the inchworm traffic.

    As if that were not enough to pique your writer’s imagination and need for objective story telling, take on the rate of asthma amongst residents (childre?) of areas along or near the two major east west highways, into and out of the bay area then consdier the congestion and accident rate on I-880 as well as the use of diesel at port of Oakland in the simple act of loading and unloading ships which now are too wide for Panama and have lengths exceeding that of modern aircraft Carriers!

    If you work at the above theme successfully you might be eligible for a pulitzer prize as well as the gratitude of Bay Area residents.

    Finally, give thought to this idea. ANG is losing to internet because it fails to recogniz the loss of sub-scribers (and advt. revenue) for the simple reason that a good in-depth story, perhaps on a serialized basis, is needed to attract readers who want something current as as well as pertient to their every day lives. Rather than the trite stuff involving antics of wayward entertainers whose publicists need space to keep their clients name in front of producers of light weight food for weak minds?

    Geez, I could care less if Madonna is getting another
    divorce. Feed my mind with a breafast read of something important!