Alternative fuel is worth a good look

It seemed like a throwaway line, a flight of fancy amid otherwise tangible goals and objectives for the coming year.

Wouldn’t it be neat, Mayor Darlene Kordonowy mused in her January “state of the city” address, if city and community alike would look into alternative energy sources. The mayor admitted that she was fired up by congressional homeboy Jay Inslee’s interest in alt-fuel issues.

Pshaw, we thought. With some city departments in apparent disarray, statewide tax-limitation measures putting fiscal

challenges on the horizon, and mayor-council relations badly bruised, the city was going to tackle acid rain? But time sometimes makes the fantastic look prescient, and this could be one of those moments.

As reported on today’s front page, the island’s first alternative fuel retailer has set up shop near the ferry terminal. The Imagine Energy “station” – which, besides a small fuel tank and portable pump, consists of two deck chairs and a beach umbrella – can be found on Olympic Drive, next to Jack’s auto repair. Proprietors Morgan Roose and Nick Rohrbach are promoting the vegetable-based, non-petroleum biodiesel fuel as a clean-burning (and very forward thinking) alternative to conventional diesel, and are working to build up a local clientele.

They’re not alone. We reported several weeks ago that the Bainbridge Island School District is already making the move to biodiesel, and the 2003-04 district budget includes an extra $10,000 in fuel costs for the school bus fleet. Superintendent Ken Crawford tells us the decision came at the urging of Kitsap Transit, which was looking for a school partner in

promoting cleaner emissions from commercial vehicles. “With the orientation of our community being very environmentally conscious, it seemed logical that we’d be the district,” Crawford says. Bainbridge schools are now in line for

air-quality grant money for exhaust system modifications that would make local school buses cleaner still.

We’ve read online that the city of Berkeley, Calif., recently

committed to using biodiesel in its public works fleet, while San Diego has unveiled a prototype alternative fuel station. We suspect other cities and districts will be following suit.

While there are budget impacts, the benefits for the

environment are beyond dispute, and biodiesel prices should come down as demand brings production up. It strikes us that Bainbridge Island’s public agencies with diesel-burning

equipment might want to look into partnering on this

clean-burning fuel.

Distributors and advocates are now just around the corner, literally.

Vote by Tuesday

Don’t forget – the polls won’t be open for Tuesday’s primary election. So get that ballot in the mail with a timely postmark.

The sole island race to be decided is the three-way primary contest for the Bainbridge Island City Council’s at-large seat. And, in case you’ve forgotten, the Review endorses Nezam Tooloee and Arnie Kubiak to advance to the general ballot in November. Our endorsement can be found online at


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates