PICKENS, SC --- The Pickens County Council has approved a plan to run county trucks and equipment on biodiesel, reported the Pickens County News. Officials said the biodiesel program will save money, reduce emissions and help bring the county to the forefront of the alternative fuel movement.

"If we can get this program going, we're going to benefit in a lot of ways," said Councilman Tom Ponder.

The estimated cost for virgin oil-based biodiesel will be about $2.30 per gallon, compared to about $4 per gallon for diesel.

County Administrator Chappell Hurst said biodiesel's other benefits include a 60-percent reduction in emissions and an expected 10-percent extension of engine life. The county expects to produce about 240,000 gallons of biodiesel per year, he added. With the county using about 230,000 gallons, 10,000 gallons would be available for others' use.

"There's a whole lot of people calling that want to do this because they know they can save money," Hurst said at an earlier committee meeting.