Willie Nelson Inspires Merriweather Post Pavilion to Add Biodiesel

In 2007 when Dr. Bob Hieronimus was invited onto Willie Nelson's tour bus it was mainly due to their shared interest in promoting a clean energy future through the use of sustainable fuels like biodiesel. Mr. Nelson could not have been more kind and patient, signing dozens of books and Baltimore Biodiesel flags for the Hieronimus's campaign to raise awareness about this alternative energy with Maryland's political leaders (click here for the reactions of William Donald Shaefer, Barbara Mikulski, Ben Cardin, and more). Ever since then Dr. Bob and Dr. Zoh have been quietly working to connect their Baltimore Biodiesel Coop with the concert facilities at Merriweather Post Pavilion, so that the earth-friendly musicians who pass through our region can refuel their tour busses and creates 80% fewer emissions. The launching of this new pump is a huge leap forward for Maryland's clean energy future, and we hope to show it to Willie Nelson firsthand in the future so he can see how his inspiration has manifested!

Some of the Baltimore Biodiesel Coop members and Dr. Bob pose in front of new tank.  To to the left of Dr. Bob is Ilya Goldberg, the brainchild wizard behind the fully automated system running on solar power.  What a blessing to have a mechanical genius willing to volunteer so much time!

Dr. Bob and Willie holding the Balto Biodiesel flag.

THANK YOU WILLIE NELSON for lending your support to Biodiesel in Maryland.

A temporary sign where the permanent plaque will be hung to acknowledge the donations from Dr. Bob and Dr. Zohara Hieronimus to the Baltimore Biodiesel Coop.

Davis Bookhart, president of the Baltimore Biodiesel Coop, poses with Dr. Bob in front of the new tank.Frank Lee, performance artist and Coop member, dressed as Uncle Sam “drunk on gasoline” at the opening of the new solar powered Biodiesel pump at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Baltimore Biodiesel Announces Launch of New Location: The World's First Automated, Solar Powered Fuel Station Comes to Merriweather Post Pavilion

Press Release - October 11, 2010

The Baltimore Biodiesel Co-op, the area’s first retail group dedicated solely to clean, renewable, and domestically produced biodiesel, announces the Grand Opening of its newest pump located at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD on Saturday, October 16th at 1:00 PM EST. The pump is located in the pavilion’s handicapped parking area adjacent to the box office. The exact location can be found by visiting the Baltimore Biodiesel homepage: www.baltimorebiodiesel.org.

“The biodiesel is produced right here on the East Coast from renewable resources,” said Davis Bookhart, president of the Co-op. The Merriweather station will sell B-20, meaning the fuel contains 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel; this ratio is accepted by most vehicle manufacturers as compliant with diesel car and truck warranties. Ford Motor Company’s recently released diesel truck line fully supports a mix of B-20 for all of their 2010 diesel truck engines, for example. Baltimore Biodiesel Co-op recommends checking your owner's manual to see if B-20 is supported in your diesel vehicle. "It burns cleaner than petroleum diesel, cuts emissions by 80%, and keeps our hard-earned money in the region, ” Bookhart continued.

Mark Eckley, secretary to the Co-op and its appointed “fuel czar” maintains the source and quality of the fuel. “Our top priority is securing the highest quality fuel for the co-op. We have developed procedures for ensuring the fuel is clean, free of contaminants, and worthy of dispensing with our name.” The Baltimore City pump, located at 28th Street and Sisson Street, will continue to sell a higher concentrated blend of biodiesel to its' city members.

The new location was made possible by a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration. It was also assisted by a gift from Dr. Bob and Dr. Zohara Hieronimus (www.21stcenturyradio.com) who were inspired by Baltimore Biodiesel and Willie Nelson to support this endeavor making biodiesel available at Merriweather Post Pavilion for the planet-conscious music industry.

Bookhart noted “The MEA has been supportive of our efforts from the very beginning, and they deserve tremendous credit for their leadership and support. They have a positive vision for the state, and we are grateful to have them as partners. Through the generous gift of Dr. Bob and Dr. Zohara Hieronimus and their relationship with Willie Nelson and the folks at Merriweather Post Pavilion we were able to secure an ideal location for the pump."

The innovative pumping station is the brainchild of Ilya Goldberg, vice-president of the Co-op. The tank and pumps are self-sufficient, powered by a solar panel attached to the structure. The real key to the station is the card swipe kiosk, developed and refined by Goldberg in his spare time. “The kiosk is set up so that when a member swipes his or her card, the database recognizes the member, bills their card, and sends out a receipt by email. You can even join the co-op right at the kiosk by following the simple directions on the screen.”

About the Coop:

Launched in 2006, the Baltimore Biodiesel Coop is a member-run, non-profit organization based in Baltimore, Maryland. The co-op is dedicated solely to the promotion and sale of environmentally sustainable biodiesel fuel. Since its inception, members have helped to prevent over 100 tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere.

Dr. Bob filling up We the People with Biodiesel!

Ilya Goldberg à la Major T.J. "King" Kong in Dr. Strangelove riding the new tank!

Media Contacts:

Davis Bookhart

Ilya Goldberg

Fuel Czar:
Mark Eckley

MD Energy Administration
Chris Rice