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Amber Alert

Friday, April 13, 2007

Missouri senators endorse biodiesel mandate

Missouri senators gave first-round approval April 12 to a biodiesel fuel mandate backed by the state's agriculture industry, which is supplying increasing amounts of corn and soybeans to new ethanol and biodiesel production plants popping up around the state.

Missouri law already requires most gasoline sold in the state to contain a 10 percent ethanol blend beginning in January 2008, so long as the price of ethanol is not more expensive than regular gasoline. The new bill by Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, would apply a similar law to diesel fuel sold in the state: a 5 percent biodiesel mandate beginning in April 2009, so long as its price is not more expensive than traditional diesel.

Not only would the biodiesel mandate benefit agriculture, but "This is something that's good for the environment, and I think it's going to be very good for the trucking industry," Stouffer said.

Trucking has opposed biodiesel mandates in other states, but the Missouri Motor Carriers Association has remained neutral on this bill. The difference is that Stouffer's bill sets quality standards for biodiesel, said Tom Crawford, president of the association.