A progressive, eco-oriented gas station has set up shop near Highway 101’s La Cumbre exit. Conserv Fuel started pumping 99 percent pure bio-diesel there on January 15, the second in a franchise that began in Los Angeles. Kris Moller-son of the Danish immigrant who started USA Gasoline 50 years ago-manages the station, and the family that created one of the strongest independent gas station chains in California is one of the leading names in eco-friendly fuels. B99-an epithet that means the diesel is 99-percent biological material-is nearly carbon-neutral and works as well as any other diesel, according to Moller. He said its high viscosity helps keep engines working smoothly. Though there are many large diesel users here (MarBorg, the City of Santa Barbara, Metropolitan Transit District), B99 can be a hard sell. Moller said this is partly because California does not recognize bio-diesel as a fuel, but classifies it as a fuel additive. It’s hard to believe that a state so stereotyped for its ecological attitude would be the last to embrace cleaner fuel. In fact, every customer who purchases nearly pure bio-diesel in California has to join a “users group”-which is the state’s way to get them to waive liability. Conserv Fuel in Los Angeles merited a visit from candidate Barack Obama, who thanked the station for its environmental endeavors.


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