Bio-Based Products Purchasing – Michigan

A Michigan House resolution (HCR34) passed in 1999 "urges state government agencies to use bio-based products as a source of oil and diesel fuel whenever possible."

In late 1998, Agro Management Group partnered with Michigan’s first farmer-owned manufacturing cooperative, Thumb Oilseed Producers Cooperative, to produce their newly patented vegetable-based motor oil. One hundred eighty-five farmers in ten counties paid $250 each for 1,200 shares of stock to invest in a crushing facility to convert 800,000 bushels of locally grown soybeans into high-quality food oil, animal feed and feedstock for AMG’s new motor oil.

Crop researchers in the state have estimated that farmers in the cooperative could see profits of 20-30 percent by growing and processing soybeans collectively, rather than the typical 5 percent return they receive by selling crops at the grain elevator. AMG, Thumb Oil, and 3 county economic development agencies then created Great Lakes Oil LLC to manufacture and market the vegetable- based motor oil on behalf of AMG. The Ulby-based $1.2 million crushing facility opened in August 1999 and is currently producing 5,000 gallons of motor oil monthly. Next year enough oil will be produced to supply over 20,000 vehicles. Most of the oil is sold to government agencies encouraged by HCR34. With cooperative ownership, an innovative new product, and state policy in place, the farmers’ partnership with AMG provides a new way of extracting the highest value from their raw materials.

House Concurrent Resolution No. 34.

Aconcurrent resolution to urge state government agencies to use bio-based products as a source of oil ad diesel fuel whenever possible.

Whereas,For many years, scientists and researchers in many fields have searched for clean, reliable, and renewable sources of energy. In spite of the recent abundance of traditional fossil fuels, finding and developing effective alternative fuels is vital to our nation’s long-term best interests; and

Whereas, Bio-based oils and fuels are derived from oils and fats of plants and offer many advantages over fossil fuels we have used for vehicles, electric production, and small engine operation. Fuels derived from agricultural products are clean and renewable. These fuels burn without contributing carbon dioxide or sulfur to the atmosphere. Few modifications of any kind are needed to existing engines to use bio-based materials; and

Whereas,The costs of bio-based oils and fuels will likely drop dramatically when use increases. Currently, there are a variety of pilot or demonstration projects underway in certain communities across the country. The possible economic benefits of using this kind of fuel are enormous, particularly in replacing the purchase of foreign oil with greater utilization of the bounty of American farms; and

Whereas,Michigan has the opportunity to take a leadership role in embracing a change that may prove as significant as any technology in recent memory. Encouraging state departments to use bio-based oils and fuels is a good place to start; now, therefore, be it

Resolvedby the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That we urge state government agencies to use bio-based products as a source of oil and diesel fuel whenever possible; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the executive departments of state government.

The House of Representatives has adopted the concurrent resolution.

Pursuant to rule 3.204, the concurrent resolution was referred to the Committee on Government Operations.

Journal of the Senate, State of Michigan, May 4, 1999.

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