Friday, January 16, 2009

Bloomington school buses: gellin'

It's not easy being green.

The 10,500 students of the Bloomigton, Minnesota Public Schools, who woke up this morning to -22 degrees F outside, are chillin' at home today thanks to biodiesel:
Today, a number of our school buses broke down as a result of the use of state-required bio-diesel fuel that clogged some of our fleet's fuel systems. This led to students having to wait at bus stops in dangerous weather conditions. A few of our back-up school buses also experienced this problem.

We have attempted to resolve the fuel issues with our buses. However, with extreme cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills predicted again for Friday morning, we could not ensure that our buses would not encounter the same issues.

The safety of our students remains one of our top priorities, and while closing schools disrupts work schedules and causes inconveniences for parents, we wanted you to know early enough to plan accordingly.

We apologize for any inconvenience families may experience with this decision. Thank you.

—Bloomington Schools Superintendent Les Fujitake

Using biodiesel fuels in Minnesota, which turn to gel as the temperature approaches 0 degrees F, makes about as much sense as using compact fluorescent light bulbs outdoors, which are also problematic in Minnesota winter weather. (Incandescent blubs will be banned by the U.S. government in phases between 2012 and 2014; other countries are planning similar bans.) Government mandates and taxpayer subsidies that prop up politically-correct, technically flawed products should be terminated in favor of the free market, which rewards products that work and that people want.

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