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Week of 1.12.07

Home Grown

Video: Home Grown
Video icon Video: Home Grown
Can America grow its way out of its dependence on foreign oil? Country music legend Willie Nelson thinks so, and has a new twist on a 100 year-old idea that just may get us there.

When the diesel engine was invented in the late 1800's, it was designed to run not on petroleum, but on vegetable oil. Nelson launched his own brand of biodiesel called "BioWillie," a blend of vegetable oil and regular diesel. That means any car or truck with a diesel engine can run on it. Bio Willie burns cleaner than regular diesel, creating less of the emissions that cause global warming and acid rain.

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The fuel could also save family farms by giving farmers a brand new market for their crops, an issue close to Nelson's heart. NOW talks with Neslon about this new trend in biofuels that is attracting the attention of farmers, environmentalists, and even some of the big energy giants as well.

"There's other places in the world [that] have already made it happen, and you say, duh, why can't we do it here?" Nelson tells NOW. "Anywhere things can be grown that you can turn into fuel, do it."

Related Links:

» Willie Nelson's Biodiesel

» A GRIST special feature on biofuels

» NOW: Who Killed the Electric Car?

» NOW: Corporate Compassion - The CEO of Sun Microsystems talks about the promise of ethanol

» The website for Earth Biofuels, Inc.

» Case Study: Can Sweden go Oil-Free by 2020?

» U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Sources

» Official Site of the National Biodiesel Board

» New York Times: Will ethanol production cause a corn shortage?

» New York Times: It's Corn vs. Soybeans in a Biofuels Debate

» Forbes: A gloomy financial picture for Bio Willie

» Earth Biofuels responds to the Forbes article