SEL Founder Dr. Ed Schweitzer Corrects Port Commissioner Karl Webber’s Statement That His Company Started With Help From Taxpayer Subsidy-Port Touting SEL Example In Arguing For Proposed Pullman Biodiesel Plant

The founder of the Palouse’s largest private employer is correcting the Port of Whitman County’s statement that company started with help from a subsidy from the agency.

Port Commissioner Chairman Karl Webber is touting Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories as the prime example for how the local government agency uses tax dollars for economic development.  Commissioner Webber made the argument during an informational session on Wednesday regarding the port’s controversial plan to help develop a biodiesel plant in Pullman.

Commissioner Webber told the large crowd that SEL signed the first lease for property in the Pullman Industrial Park which the port developed using tax dollars.  SEL President and Founder Dr. Ed Schweitzer on the Thursday Morning News stated that he bought the land in 1988 and that his company has never leased ground from the port.  Dr. Schweitzer says he paid the port enough money to cover all of their development costs.  You can listen to Dr. Schweitzer explain by clicking on the audio file below.


Dr. Schweitzer sent a letter to the port on Wednesday opposing the agency’s plan for a biodiesel plant in Pullman.  The informational session where Commissioner Webber made the incorrect statements about SEL’s beginnings was held inside the SEL Event Center.  The space was provided by SEL for free.