Rainforest Action Network voices concerns at ADM meeting

By Bryan Sims | November 13, 2008
Web exclusive posted Nov. 13, 2008 at 12:54 p.m. CST

Former Maui County Environmental Coordinator Rob Parsons joined protests by Rainforest Action Network (RAN) at the annual shareholders meeting of Archer Daniels Midland Co. in Decatur, Ill., on Nov. 6.

Parsons, who serves as executive vice president of Maui Tomorrow Foundation Inc., obtained a shareholder's proxy for the meeting in an effort to try and sway agri-business corporations like ADM away from imposing biofuel ventures in Hawaii and decimating rainforest lands associated with widespread mono-cropping of soybeans and palm oil for biofuels production.

"We will remind them that soy and palm plantations are among the greatest threats to the world's tropical rainforests," Parsons said. "The expansion of these plantations spells a disaster for these biodiverse forest habitats, indigenous peoples' rights and climate change."

Hawaii is the most petroleum-dependent of the 50 U.S. states, with more than 90 percent of the state's energy needs coming from imported foreign oil. Despite abundant potential for solar, wind and hydropower, the Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) has spent the past two years supporting proposals to construct two biodiesel plants one by Imperium Renewables Inc. on Oahu and another by BlueEarth Biodiesel LLC on Maui.

If these plants were to be constructed, their combined production of 222 MMgy would exceed the potential output that could be produced in Hawaii, even if all available statewide agricultural lands were utilized solely for biofuel crops. Much of the palm oil used to produce biodiesel would be sourced from Malaysia or Indonesia, the world's top two palm oil producers, according to the Maui Tomorrow Foundation.

"It is incumbent upon the people of Hawaii to demand local solutions for renewable energy, which in turn will bolster our local economy," Parsons said. "Working with groups such as RAN helps spread the word far and wide that continuing rainforest destruction for biofuel production should be stopped immediately. The Hawaii coalition of groups is eager to help work for solutions to saving the world's remaining rainforests."

According to Parsons, his mission in Decatur was to educate ADM officials on the harmful impacts of displacing rainforests with biofuel crops, such as soybeans and palm; he hopes that other companies like ADM will take heed of his concerns on the issue.

"Hawaii has a chance to show the world how sustainable energy production can be done, and that what's sustainable can also be profitable," Parsons said. "Let's move away from damaging proposals such as the import of palm oil. This is our golden opportunity to influence our leaders and return the 'power to the people'."
 
 
Array ( [REDIRECT_REDIRECT_STATUS] => 200 [REDIRECT_STATUS] => 200 [HTTP_HOST] => www.biodieselmagazine.com [HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING] => x-gzip, gzip, deflate [HTTP_USER_AGENT] => CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/) [HTTP_ACCEPT] => text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8 [PATH] => /sbin:/usr/sbin:/bin:/usr/bin [SERVER_SIGNATURE] =>
Apache/2.2.15 (CentOS) Server at www.biodieselmagazine.com Port 80
[SERVER_SOFTWARE] => Apache/2.2.15 (CentOS) [SERVER_NAME] => www.biodieselmagazine.com [SERVER_ADDR] => 100.79.216.6 [SERVER_PORT] => 80 [REMOTE_ADDR] => 54.162.107.122 [DOCUMENT_ROOT] => /datadrive/websites/biodieselmagazine.com [SERVER_ADMIN] => webmaster@dummy-host.example.com [SCRIPT_FILENAME] => /datadrive/websites/biodieselmagazine.com/app/webroot/index.php [REMOTE_PORT] => 57166 [REDIRECT_QUERY_STRING] => url=articles/2983/rainforest-action-network-voices-concerns-at-adm-meeting/ [REDIRECT_URL] => /app/webroot/articles/2983/rainforest-action-network-voices-concerns-at-adm-meeting/ [GATEWAY_INTERFACE] => CGI/1.1 [SERVER_PROTOCOL] => HTTP/1.0 [REQUEST_METHOD] => GET [QUERY_STRING] => url=articles/2983/rainforest-action-network-voices-concerns-at-adm-meeting/ [REQUEST_URI] => /articles/2983/rainforest-action-network-voices-concerns-at-adm-meeting/ [SCRIPT_NAME] => /app/webroot/index.php [PHP_SELF] => /app/webroot/index.php [REQUEST_TIME_FLOAT] => 1506443135.195 [REQUEST_TIME] => 1506443135 )