22/08/2007 (Associated Press), HONOLULU - Hawaiian Electric Company says it will buy biodiesel only from palm oil plantations that haven't displaced native forests and peoples.
The utility says it's committed to meet international standards for buying palm oil as laid out under the Round-table on Sustainable Palm Oil.
Environmental groups have been pushing for Hawaiian Electric to agree to the standards.
They're concerned about palm oil because studies have accused developers in Malaysia and Indonesia of burning vast tracts of rain forest to grow palm oil.
Hawaiian Electric is building a 110-megawatt power plant at Campbell Industrial Park, which would burn exclusively biofuels like biodiesel.
It proposes to buy processed biodiesel made from palm oil on the open market to run this plant, but it could also burn ethanol.