Bond, ag leaders tout ethanol provisions in Senate bill

Saturday, April 27, 2002

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's farm economy could receive a huge boost from a provision in a Senate energy bill that would mean a tripling of ethanol production for blending with gasoline, U.S. Sen. Kit Bond said Friday.

Bond, R-Mo., joined state agriculture officials to tout the legislation that cleared the Senate on Thursday. The Senate bill must be reconciled with a House version, which did not include the ethanol provision.

Among the many tax incentives and mandates in the Senate bill is a requirement to use more ethanol in gasoline, which would result in a tripling of ethanol production to 5 billion gallons a year by 2012.

Bond said the ethanol-blend fuel, made from corn, will help improve the environment and decrease the nation's dependency on foreign oil.

"It gets us to where we need to be in terms of cleaning up the quality of our air," Bond said.

Moreover, he said, the higher production would bring farmers an additional $6.6 billion a year and create 300,000 jobs.

Bond expects the increased demand for corn to equal 19 percent of last year's crop. The price per bushel could rise by 12 cents over the next 10 years, Bond said.

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