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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

PC all the way to the dump

The City of Portland will require all residential garbage and recycling haulers to use a biodiesel blend fuel beginning in March 2007.

Comments (23)

This would be a jurisdictional question, not one of the wisdom or folly (or contractual bargaining power) of placing such a condition upon the grant of a franchise.

ORS 268.317 Solid and liquid waste disposal powers.
Metro Charter

Suppose Metro said that they want to assert jurisdictional power and control over Portland's Water Billing system?

Would anyone in Portland city government be a fool NOT to say "Be My Guest!"

Randy -- Did you offer Metro a trade?

Has anyone in the City read this report:

It's from the recent Consumer Reports. There may be reasons for switching to biodiesel, but lower emissions is not one; lower cost is not one; and saving petroleum (under an 80/20 mix) is also not one.

"It's from the recent Consumer Reports. There may be reasons for switching to biodiesel, but lower emissions is not one; lower cost is not one; and saving petroleum (under an 80/20 mix) is also not one."

I find only passing reference to biodiesel in this article - and the only reason I could even see the article is that I'm an online CR subscriber. Did you post an incorrect link?

The URL is too wide. It needs a Tiny URL.

lower emissions is not one; lower cost is not one; and saving petroleum ... is also not one.

I think you're confusing biodiesel with ethanol.

I drink them both.

Here's a Tiny URL, but I think you need to be a CR subscriber:

Even if it is PC I don't see why implementing biodiesel on a local level in an effort to lower carbon emissions is a bad thing. Doing something is better than doing nothing. More aggressive measures are needed, but garbage trucks and city owned vehicles are a good start. Gov. Kulongoski showed the kind of leadership we need in this arena when Oregon joined several other states in raising the bar on auto emissions standards. Commericial trucks are next. If we leave it up to the legislative bodies and the oil and auto industry lobby very little will change. I suppose if you don't believe in global warming then all of this is just a bunch of crap.

I believe there is global warming, but the above is not a "bunch of crap". Being "Political Correct", but not helping the problem is NOT correct.

I'm afraid the CR article is goring the wrong ox; it's all about ethanol.
Biodiesel is far better for the environment than regular diesel and has similar or superior performance characteristics than regular diesel.

Every time the Waste Management truck turns around in our cul-de-sac, he leaves about a half-pint of hydraulic fluid in front of my driveway.

I've called the company (twice) to complain, but it appears that replacing the hydraulic fluid is cheaper than fixing the source of the leak.

Much like the Port of Portland dumping anti-freeze into the slough, I believe that Randy Leonard is bending over to pick up nickels, while the environmental dollar bills are flying below his radar.

Much sound and fury, signifying nothing.

From what I understand, you can inhale the exhaust of a biodiesel car... smells like french fries? For many/most diesels, the transition to bio is easy.

From a pragmatic standpoint, garbage trucks stop and start, putting on many exhaust-intensive miles while snaking through Portland's streets. That's a lot of oily exhaust at street level... seems like a logical place to start, no? (Buses also come to mind)

When you also take into consideration that fuel spending will be kept in the local economy, the idea seems like a good idea on several levels.

For issues like this, folks need to learn to tone down the automatic cynicism... you know, for those few times when ::most:: of us can get behind a policy? If you take an US vs THEM mentality to every issue, you're quite simply going to be that cranky jerk down the block who greets door-knockers with a shotgun. Believe it.

I have been told by a diesel mechanic that transition to B20 is easy, anything more than 20% biodiesel requires some fuel filter replacements, as well as replacement of many rubber hoses with a solvent resistant material.

If you simply start pouring B90 into a regular diesel engine, you will have problems in a very short period of time, beginning with a clogged fuel filter.

From what I understand, you can inhale the exhaust of a biodiesel car... smells like french fries?

I thought that was only if you used recycled fryer oil from a restaurant?
And those are the people who make their own biodiesel in their garage. Which, from what I have read, is pretty expensive. The equipment alone (for home production) costs more than most of the cars running it.

Also, regarding the local economy, there are no refineries here are there? Who is going to make this stuff? And will the enviros let a refinery be built here?

Here is a comparison of biodiesel to conventional diesel. I dont think you want to inhale it directly, carbon monoxide is substantially lower, but still there.

implementing this plan might also change the economy of scale for biodiesel production, making it more affordable for everyone. and build the local economy. and lower the externalized costs of using conventional diesel.

at least thats the plan. seems wise to me.

"From what I understand, you can inhale the exhaust of a biodiesel car... smells like french fries?"

Nope, smells many times worse as any other diesel car and leaves a nasty black cloud spewing out from the tailpipe. This is at least the experience I have recently had driving behind a couple of VWs and a City bus with their Biodiesel stickers. I don't know if they all do this, just my experiece and not a pleasent one at that.

Although I have not read up on this, I understand that there are some pretty sweet fuel tax credits out there for a limited time for producers of this fuel, which has prompted some to enter this field based solely on the potential to make a buck, without one care as to whether this stuff is any good or not environmentally.

Although I have not read up on this, I understand that there are some pretty sweet fuel tax credits out there for a limited time for producers of this fuel, which has prompted some to enter this field based solely on the potential to make a buck, without one care as to whether this stuff is any good or not environmentally.

Limited time for sure....taxes have to come from somewhere eventually. Much like the "surcharge" the state is dinging hybrid owners with (or was) because they buy less fuel, thus paying less taxes.

Wired magazine had an article about biofuels being so much cheaper than oil. But even their own article showed that the wholesale cost was really only a few cents less per gallon for biofuels. The sole reason they are cheaper at the pump is that they are not taxed...yet.

biodiesel = good

process for adopting biodiesel city/regionwide = typically disjointed, uncoordinated and expensive

prospect for process and implementation to create more PERS jobs = very good

net result = cost/benefit ratio higher than necessary = screwed again


With all this support Randy should have had no problem organizing a March on Metro to insist, like any joe, that they use THEIR power to require something particular from garbage haulers.

Seriously, the city could pay outside counsel a couple hundred bucks to say the very same thing.

I thought I'd save the city a few bucks, by offering a hair-ball instead.

(Please Step Outside, Blog-style)
This statement by TKrueg in support of Portland Mandated Biodiesel requires airing and a vigorous response.

Ron, the next time you use Jack's content for your own site, and it includes my blog moniker, I'd appreciate some sort of permission first. I didn't approve my comments to appear anywhere else but right here.

If this isn't how things work, fine. But please know it looks like you're riding Jack's coattails.

If your relationship with any Portland area government is less than an employee or retiree and you have no contractual relationship then I would be happy to replace my reference to that of AnonymousPoster.

There is an interesting case where the Oregon Supreme Court meted out a sanction on a member of the bar for conduct that was not related to their actual representation of a client nor related to their status as a member in any way. They were merely within their reach because they were a member.

I'll use it as a guide for whether a line has been crossed, on other facts but which fall under the realm of matters of public interest. See paragraph one.

My target is to highlight the divided loyalty of a public attorney between the top court and the public officials that they are supposed advise about what the court might have to say on a matter, such as exceeding prescribed authority. The authority of a city council to remove a city attorney does not shake them free from just another one that will carry the very same message from Oregon Supreme Court, as expressed in opinions.

Can Randy treat a city attorney like a door stop?
If so, does that mean he can also treat the court like a door stop?
Should we save money by doing away with the courts?
And, do away with such things as a the right to jury of one's peers?

I really don't care if Randy doesn't care, because it is the City Attorney who must affirmatively speak up, or should instead be replaced by someone, by someone other than the city council. The issue I raised would not have even popped up had the City Attorney done their job. Nor would the city mandate something specifically upon garbage haulers. Nor would objectors be characterized as somehow drifting onto the wrong side of the law, and resorting to violence. Nor would I feel that your assertion could have been directed at me personally.

You are free to choose your own master. I'll pick the only one that matters . . . and try not to get the host in trouble in the process.

I am a client of the City's attorney, no less so than the City Council; even if Randy might conclude that he has exclusive representation . . . just because he can fire them, individually, if he does not like what they say. It does sound similar to too Randy's regard for the liberty to contract by garbage haulers that fall under his thumb. It is a pattern of behavior.

Ron- I don't work for any government body, nor do I do business with them. I don't think you have any right to enforce a double standard though.


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