Gambling on Green

ILLUSTRATION FOR TIME BY C.J. BURTON

Grays Harbor, a foggy bay 90 minutes outside Seattle, has been known for two things: paper mills and the rock star Kurt Cobain, who was born there in 1967. Both are memories now, and in recent years the area had fallen on the hard times familiar to blue-collar communities across the U.S. But Grays Harbor is showing new color, thanks in part to the Seattle biofuel company Imperium Renewables, which just opened the nation's largest biodiesel plant there. The four-month-old refinery positively gleams (and smells vaguely like lawn clippings because of the vegetable oil used to make the biodiesel). As he...

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