Environmentalists, Mayor Marty Blum, and singer Jack Johnson attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of USA Grown Fuel, Santa Barbara’s first public retail establishment to sell B99, a fuel containing 99 percent plant-derived, biodegradable diesel and less than one percent petrochemical fuel. The former Shell station, located at 626 West Carrillo Street, is now a USA Gas franchise. McCormix Corporation operates two other biodiesel fueling stations in Santa Barbara, but they are not open to the public.

Survey respondents overwhelmingly selected gas taxes as the appropriate method of funding road maintenance, prompting 3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone to insist on a public vetting of the option. Until now, gas tax proponents have been unable to get the idea on an agenda for discussion at SBCAG, the association of local governments, which designed the Measure D local sales tax measure to supplement state and federal transportation funding. Seventy-six percent of respondents to the countywide poll said gas taxes should fund roads, compared to 51 percent who said a sales tax was appropriate, and 42 percent who selected property taxes.

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