Candace Heckman, writing for the Seattle P-I Big Blog, put up a brief post about the protest yesterday by Duff Badgley and his rag-tag group against local biodiesel-refiner Imperium Renewables. Imperium is getting downright defensive:
Imperium spokesman John Williams said this afternoon that the company is actively looking at “feedstocks” other than palm oil, and that for the next year-and-a-half, the City of Seattle would not be buying biodiesel made from palm.
This blog post “makes it sound like at some point we might sell palm biodiesel to the city. We haven’t, we don’t and we won’t.”
Get the violins and hankies out:
Williams said his company is being unfairly targeted … [ahem] Although, Imperium is not in the position to completely swear off palm as the company grows into a global corporation.
Imperium has no choice. It has to make a profit. It has to try to pay back its investors. It is pointless to harp at Imperium. The power lies entirely in the hands of the consumer who can choose not to purchase food crop based agrodiesel.
The problem is with our local politicians. They have mandated its use, subsidized its profit margin, and to ice the cake, have allowed millions of dollars of retirement funds to be invested in Imperium. This was all done with money taken from consumers via taxes. Adding insult to injury, these same consumers have to buy back this environmentally destructive fuel from the government at whatever cost every time they take a bus or ferry.
Our politicians may have good intentions, but the road to hell is starting to look like a parking lot.