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Change Agent

Visiting the greenest gas station in the United States

SeQuential travels to local businesses in Oregon and Washington to buy waste cooking oil that it converts into biodiesel for cars and trucks – and sells at its stations.

By Rachel / September 6, 2011

A gas station in Hamburg, Germany, offers biodiesel fuel. The greenest gas station in the US may be one run by SeQuential Pacific Northwest, which collects used cooking oil and converts it into diesel fuel.

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Every Thursday, thanks to a content partnership with brother-sister duo Journey of Action, is exploring Gen Y changemakers – and how they fit in with the rest of the world.

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Picture five million barrels of oil.

That’s how much was dumped into the Gulf of Mexico in spring 2010, in the largest oil spill in history.

Environmental devastation is only one reason why many social change activists are protesting what they see as America’s dependency on fossil fuels.

In the developing world, oil is often a catalyst for political corruption. In Nigeria, for example, a profitable but foreign-owned oil industry has been linked to rising socioeconomic inequality and widespread government corruption, while providing few, if any, local benefits.

And as anyone who’s filled up a tank recently will know, a more immediate problem is that petroleum is simply expensive. And prices don’t seem to be going down. When an oil market as tiny as Libya’s opens up, there’s a scramble to control the goods – because oil is a scarce commodity, and much of the world runs on it.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The biofuel industry has been gaining popularity and attracting significant investor and media attention all across the United States. A report released this month by independent research organization Worldwatch reveals that global biofuel production increased by 17 percent in 2010.

The brother-and-sister Journey of Action duo were enthralled to stumble upon one of the gas stations run by biofuel marketing and retail company SeQuential, in conjunction with their production wing SeQuential Pacific Northwest.

Founded in 2002 as a C-corp, SeQuential’s collection service goes around to local businesses throughout Oregon and Washington, purchasing waste cooking oil that would otherwise be shipped overseas by corporations or simply thrown out. SeQuential Pacific Northwest then converts the oil into biodiesel, and SeQuential distributes it through its statewide gas stations.

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