Supporters of alternative fuels threw a party for themselves Thursday at a Portland gas station that was the site of the city's first biodiesel pump.
The party was to celebrate the one-year-old mandate requiring all diesel sold in Portland to contain at least five-percent biodiesel.
City Commissioner Randy Leonard says Portland’s use of biofuels has been a “raging success” that has helped create new jobs and businesses in Oregon.
Randy Leonard: “There are no contingents of U.S. forces in foreign countries losing the lives of young Americans to secure a gallon of bio-fuel. There’s no fighting with foreign countries about the price of what biofuels should be. This is locally produced, locally controlled.”
However, critics of biofuels say a seventy-five percent increase in global food prices is directly linked to growing crops for fuel instead of food.
They also point out that even if the entire U-S corn crop was used to make ethanol for biofuels, that would only result in one-half of one percent of the nation's annual petroleum consumption.
Supporters of biofuels say they are studying other ways to make ethanol -- such as using algae or wood by-products.
By Pete Springer