A report from Pace University that arrives coincidentally with one of the nation’s worst oil spills, off the Louisiana coast, says that “biofuels” made from wood, grass and other renewable, non petroleum resources could reduce New York State's gasoline consumption by as much as 16 percent by 2020 and play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The report from the Energy and Climate Center of the school, which has campuses in Westchester and Manhattan, was produced at the recommendation of Governor David Paterson's Renewable Energy Task Force, the school said.

Long Islanders can buy biofuels now, including pellets for pellet stoves, which are made from compressed, recycled sawdust; and home heating oil with a blend of bio fuel. Tragar Oil in Wantagh, for example, offers on its website a five percent soybean blend that it says costs the same and works just fine as pure petroleum heating oil in an ordinary oil burner.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Depending upon the rate at which the biofuels industry grows, between 4,000 and 14,000 jobs would be created state-wide, the Pace report said.

Suffolk County said last year it plans to convert about 25 percent of its diesel fuel usage to a 20 percent bio-diesel blend, B20, made from plant matter and grease. Nassau County’s website says all of its non-emergency heavy duty vehicles are powered by B20.