US House hears testimony from the National Biodiesel board featuring Blue Ridge Biofuels as a star example of how the biodiesel industry is fostering small business in America. Here is an excerpt from Joe Job testimonial speech: “…I’d like to tell you about one of those members. Mac Minaudo is one of the owners of Blue Ridge Biofuels. This Asheville, North Carolina plant is a small biodiesel producer, currently upgrading the plant to make 2 million gallons a year. Nationally, the average plant size is about 8 million gallons a year. But this particular plant is a good example of how biodiesel can contribute to a local economy. Blue Ridge Biofuels employs 10 people and plans to hire 5 more. They make biodiesel from recycled cooking oil, and part of their business involves collecting that cooking oil from 150 area restaurants. Mac tells us that if they didn’t collect it and put it to good use, this waste product would likely be shipped out of state. Blue Ridge Biofuels supplies biodiesel blends to the Asheville Municipal Airport, the University of North Carolina in Asheville, and the city’s electric provider, among others. Blue Ridge has added biodiesel to 6 retail filling stations, and 4 more are on the drawing board. They also deliver Bioheat fuel to heat 500 local homes. By the time their expansion is complete, they will have spent at least one million dollars on the plant, with most of that money staying locally. Their business is generating tax revenue and employment. There are seven local partners who have invested in this plant. We’re seeing this type of investment coast to coast…much of it at the grassroots level. Each investor has a stake in seeing the biodiesel industry continue to thrive…”