SEATTLE TO QUIT BIOFUELS
FOLLOWS KING COUNTY LEAD
by Duff Badgley
The City of Seattle has decided to “completely discontinue crop-based biofuels”, according to a well-placed source in city government. This historic decision comes after King County — Washington’s most populous county --- quit all biofuels in 2008.
Now, both of the Northwest’s largest government biofuel consumers have quit. Seattle’s decision also marks the end of a period when Seattle and King County considered crop-based biofuels to be environmentally better than petrol.
Studies have shown crop-based biofuels trigger rainforest destruction greatly worsening climate change. By robbing land from food production, these same biofuels also cause hunger and starvation affecting millions. For this reason, crop-based biofuels have been called a “Crime Against Humanity” by a high-ranking U.N. official.
One Earth Climate Action Group and Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin were instrumental in Seattle’s momentous decision to quit biofuels.
Since 2007, One Earth Climate Action Group has been staging street protests against crop-based biofuels use by Seattle and King County. One Earth testified twice before city council that use of crop-based biofuels meant Seattle was “knowingly participating in a Crime Against Humanity”. One Earth’s protests and testimony lead to direct negotiations with Conlin.
Conlin’s Chief Legislative aide, Rob Gala, said, “We presented the argument that it (crop-based biofuel) was both worse in terms of climate changing emissions and more expensive for the City. OSE (Office of Sustainability and Environment) and the Mayor's office … indicated that they agreed and are planning to comply with our request.”
This decision by Seattle will make the governments of the Northwest’s biggest city and its county with highest population essentially biofuel-free. Washington State still stubbornly requires all gasoline sales be 2% ethanol and all diesel sales to be 2% biodiesel.
All crop-based biofuels, the only biofuels available for mass consumption, do two things:
(1) Cause hunger and starvation affecting hundreds of millions of humans. This why the U.N has called these biofuels a “Crime Against Humanity”.
Source #2 (it's a pdf with a very long url)
(2) Cause rainforest destruction releasing massive amounts of carbon dioxide and greatly worsening our Climate Crisis.
“We’re changing Seattle’s culture and infra-structure, the hardest and most essential things in climate activism”, said One Earth founder, Duff Badgley. “If we are to have a Livable Planet, our success in causing structural change in Seattle and King County need to be widely repeated.”
Seattle currently has been burning 700,000 gallons per year of American soy biodiesel. It previously burned palm and canola biodiesel.
Prior to June, 2008, King County Metro buses had been burning two million gallons per year of biodiesel made from Canadian canola or Malaysian palm oil. King County Metro operates the country’s 9th largest public transport system.
In the past decade, diesel-powered government vehicles from Seattle and King County have burned crop-based biodiesel made by either Imperium Renewables or Cargill. In 2007, Imperium built a 100-million-gallon-per-year biodiesel refinery in rural Grays Harbor, WA. It stopped production in early 2009. Cargill is the world’s largest private corporation with vast holdings in the rainforests of Brazil and Southeast Asia.
A public announcement from Seattle about its decision to quit crop-based biofuels is expected before the end of this month. Seattle will likely continue to research the feasibility of using waste-based biodiesel in its fleet vehicles.
Duff Badgley is the founder of the One Earth Climate Action Group and was the 2008 gubernatorial candidate for the Green Party of Washington State.