Part One – Fooling All The People
Article by Beth Porter
Chapter Two- Wet Cake & Soggy Bottoms
“We love our customers,” AltEn LLC declares in its promotional literature. Quite a diversion from the truth for a company which only last month was accused of a major pipeline leak into a wastewater lagoon, prompting Nebraska senator Carol Blood to brand its effects on the population “an environmental catastrophe.”
There’s not enough space here to trace the history of this corporate monster; in brief, it’s an ethanol plant producing biofuels from pesticide-treated seed corn. The resulting waste is stored in unprotected hills of green ‘wet cake’, allowed to leak into the local water table, and even offered to local farmers as a soil conditioner. Why take one eco-shampoo onto your farm… we’ve got three!
Not only has the company evaded prior investigation, it’s engaged affiliated former customers as willing and complicit green-washers to get AltEn out of its dirty hole. Companies including Bayer AG/Monsanto, Syngenta, et al.
Despite its recent shut down by various environmental regulators, AltEn’s Mead Nebraska H.Q. continues to promote its contact details. Nestled within a patchwork of agricultural plots, the 600 or so residents have felt the effects of the company’s careless practices long before a suit was filed by state regulators.
They’ve documented polluted drinking water, soil contamination, and worrying disorientations by pet dogs. Other studies report even more direct fatal effects on local animal life, including ‘unexplained’ dead fish, abnormal geese, and a near wipe-out of honey bee pollinators. [Sidebar factoid: Since 1991, North American bumblebee populations have declined by 97%!]
Instead of facing the truth, both the company’s attorney Stephen Mossman and general manager, Scott Tingelhoff, have repeatedly refused public comment, let alone any apology.
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