ASUW student body transcends State and Federal legislators
A resolution opposing current Washington State biofuel policies (website not yet updated to reflect acceptance of resolution) passed in the University of Washington Student Senate on the third of June.
The Associated Students of the University of Washington are, to my knowledge, the first legislative body in the country to take this bold step.
The following is a brief history of how it came to be:
Back in February, The Daily ran a short story about UW’s plans to increase the motor pool biofuel blend from 5 percent to 20 percent. Duff Badgley, dirty hippie, caught wind of it and organized a small protest on campus. Interestingly enough, he was met at the entrance to the campus by a Seattle bicycle cop who magically knew exactly when and where he would be (this has happened at every protest — and you thought the loss of our personal freedoms to fight terrorism was a big waste?).
Later, Badgley met with members of the student governing body. Aditya Ganapathiraju, student senator, listened to what he had to say, concluded he was right, did the necessary research and pushed through the resolution, which will in turn become the marching orders for the student lobbyist in Olympia. Largely as a result of this protest and the subsequent meeting with the student body, the university motor pool agreed to delay increases in the biodiesel blend until the matter is explored more thoroughly.
I’ve met Aditya a few times now. He is a very impressive young man, seeming far too wise for his years. I just hope he’s prepared for the backlash:
"I was cursed by one of the sponsors of the bill. I was accused of protecting the interests of ‘Big Oil.’ I was blamed for the war in Iraq … Lots of people told me that I had my facts wrong …” — Robert Rapier.
“The last time I drew attention to the hazards of making diesel fuel from vegetable oils, I received as much abuse as I have ever been sent by the supporters of the Iraq war. The biodiesel missionaries, I discovered, are as vociferous in their denial as the executives of Exxon.” — George Monbiot
“… in this case the victim was a state representative who spoke poorly of the biodiesel plan and was promptly thrown out of office by his angry constituents. Voters do not like a naysayer, particularly one trying short shrift to economic recovery and the potential of clean energy.” — Jay Inslee
For a while I thought this game was over but I have since realized that biofuel proponents like Khosla are not going down without a fight. At the same time some conservatives, like George Will, have expended a lot of hot air trying to blame liberals for the biofuel debacle. The truth is that this has been a rare bipartisan clusterfu*k.