Steelworkers Raise Concerns about New...

Steelworkers Raise Concerns about New Pacific Ethanol Facility

Posted in the Windsor Forum

United Steelworkers

United States

#1 May 8, 2007
Steelworkers Raise Concerns about New Pacific Ethanol Facility
Comments call company’s “organizational expertise” into question
Boardman, OR—The United Steelworkers have formally issued an objection to Pacific Ethanol Inc.’s (Nasdaq PEIX) application for a Site Certificate for a new ethanol refinery in Boardman, Oregon. The Sacramento based corporation is seeking approval for a 35 million gallon per year ethanol refinery on a 25 acre- parcel in the Boardman Industrial Park at the Port of Morrow.

The project, which is now being called the Columbia Ethanol Project, had initially received an exemption from siting standards because over 90% of its output would be shipped by barge or rail. But now, months into construction, Pacific Ethanol Columbia, LLC, is seeking a site certification to evade the 90% requirement.

The United Steelworkers’ written objection asserts that Pacific Ethanol Columbia (PEC) and parent company Pacific Ethanol, Inc.(PEI) do not possess the organizational expertise to construct, operate, and retire an ethanol refinery as required by Oregon law. The USW points to a series of alleged violations of health and safety standards and labor laws at another facility in Windsor, CO, where PEI has a significant investment and touts its managerial responsibilities, to call into question PEI’s ability to safely and lawfully operate an ethanol refinery. The Steelworkers’ document concludes,“Front Range Energy’s apparent inability to follow OSHA standards and labor law is indicative of a simple lack of organizational expertise and undermines PEI’s claim that they possess the requisite skills and expertise to manage the PEC facility.”

Additionally, members of the United Steelworkers will attend a public hearing on May 9, to register the union’s concerns in person.“We believe that PEI, in operating Front Range Energy, has ignored health and safety regulations, and now they want to open a facility in our community? We say not until they clean up their act!” said Bob Tackett, president of USW Local 330 in Portland Oregon.

The USW is requesting the Siting Certification be withheld until Pacific Ethanol resolves the alleged labor law and health and safety standard violations at the Front Range Energy facility in Windsor, CO.

Information on the hearing:
Public Hearing on Pacific Ethanol Facility
May 9, 2007 at 7:30 pm
Port of Morrow
2 Marine Drive
Boardman, Oregon
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