2016-05-13. Biofuels Plant in Hawaii Is First to Be Certified as Sustainable.

posted May 14, 2016, 12:09 PM by Alan Gould   [ updated May 14, 2016, 12:10 PM ]
By Diane Cardwell, the New York Times. For GSS Energy Use chapter 9. Excerpt: KEAAU, Hawaii — The trucks roll in and out of the plant at a business park nestled near papaya farms and a forest preserve on the Big Island here, an operation that transforms waste cooking oils, animal fats, fruit and seeds into biodiesel fuel, nearly 13,000 gallons a day. Owned by Pacific Biodiesel, an industry pioneer, the plant was designed with an eye toward conserving water and energy and avoiding environmental harm. But after about $20 million and four years of operation, a central question about the plant, and the industry as a whole, has persisted: Do biofuels ultimately reduce carbon emissions? “We’re worried that the efforts to ramp up our use of biofuels are actually doing a lot of damage and digging the climate hole deeper,” said Jonathan Lewis, a lawyer focused on climate change at the Clean Air Task Force. Now, the biodiesel industry’s backers say they have an answer, at least for this modest plant. The Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance, a nonprofit industry group, commissioned an audit of the plant’s sustainability by an independent company, and the result was yes. It was the first United States-based certification of sustainability granted for a biodiesel plant, according to the alliance....  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/14/business/energy-environment/biofuels-plant-in-hawaii-is-first-to-be-certified-as-sustainable.html