Editor’s Note: This is a comment coming in on one of our stories online. It is in response to Doc Robinson’s column promoting the port’s composite recycling project which is penciled in to cost taxpayers up to ten million dollars.
Dr. Robinson has defended the carbon-fiber scheme by saying Boeing has no interest in such activities; they’re in the airplane and military toy biz, and would rather just throw this supposedly (according to Robinson) valuable resource away, even paying to have it hauled to hazardous waste sites for disposal at premium prices. Boeing is a corporation, legally required to do everything it can to maximize shareholder profit. If the carbon waste was as valuable as Robinson and the commissioners think it is then Boeing could be sued by its stockholders for wasting this valuable resource.
Is it possible that Dr. Robinson’s background in the military-industrial complex has influenced his advocacy of helping Boeing increase its profits by removing the cost of getting rid of its waste from its bottom-line? Does he have friends there or stock in the company? Let’s see a complete business plan for this scheme, showing how it pencils out to be the profitable investment he claims it will be, much as any banker would require before OK’g a loan. If the local talent can’t come up with more creative investment of taxpayers dollars than importing toxic waste in hopes that the end-product won’t be more expensive than virgin material to potential customers then we probably shouldn’t invest in this plan-less scam. If, on the other hand, Doc has done the research his doctorate implies he’s capable of, then let’s see a business plan. Lots of industries use carbon-fiber, and if there’s a way to profitably recycle this waste then surely someone is doing it already, but if the PhDs and rocket scientists at Boeing can’t figure this out how can we expect to do it better?