A big Mahalo to Willie Nelson and Woody Harrelson for their commitment to sustainable, locally produced biodiesel! Along with both receiving various honors for their work as environmental entertainers over the past decade, Woody and Willie have been faithful supporters and customers of Pacific Biodiesel for years. Invaluable as advocates and spokespersons for the biodiesel industry, they have been instrumental in helping to spread the message of the importance of renewable energy.
Woody Harrelson was an inspiration to renewable fuel pioneer Bob King from the very earliest days when very few people had even heard of biodiesel. In those days, Pacific Biodiesel was struggling along, operating out of one corner of King Diesel, Bob’s generator business that served as the Cummins Engine dealership for Maui County. Not only were the Harrelsons among the first loyal customers, installing a biodiesel tank at their residence in East Maui, Woody also sent his environmental attorney to offer assistance to Pacific Biodiesel at his own expense. Even though that generous offer was never acted upon, it was often the inspiration to keep going despite the discouragement of the many obstacles faced in trying to get acceptance for a new, environmental and more costly fuel back in the critical developmental stages of the business. Woody and his wife Laura continue to use biodiesel in their vehicles, and they have both become vocal advocates for the industry through their involvement in and leadership of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance.
Although good friends with Woody, it was actually his wife Annie who initiated Willie Nelson’s first foray into biodiesel. After seeing an article on Pacific Biodiesel in a local Maui newspaper, Annie bought a VW Jetta wagon, which she ran on biodiesel with no problems, and six months later Willie bought a biodiesel car for himself. Soon the Nelsons had their own biodiesel fuel tank in their garage on Maui. Once he became a regular at Pacific Biodiesel, Willie was hooked and soon became an icon for the national biodiesel movement. Seeing the potential of biodiesel for both the farming and trucking industries, Willie and Annie became conduits for linking the concepts of sustainable biodiesel, family farming and independent trucking across the country. Their personal use of biodiesel extends to their Texas ranch, and Annie currently serves as co-chair of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance while Willie heads the SBA’s Honorary Board with Woody Harrelson.