Alternative fuels sought in Missouri

| 12/27/2005

Legislators prefiled two bills in the Missouri General Assembly that would promote alternative fuels in the state.

Sen. John Cauthorn, R-Mexico, has offered a bill that would require all diesel fuel sold after Jan. 1, 2007, to be at least 2 percent biodiesel.

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from agricultural products such as grains or animal fat. It can be used alone or blended with petroleum-based diesel. As a 2-percent blend, it can be used in any diesel engine without modification.

Cauthorn also introduced a bill that would require all gasoline sold after Jan. 1, 2007, to be blended with at least 10 percent ethanol.

Consumers still would be able to purchase higher-octane fuel.

Both measures are intended to provide a safe, clean, renewable fuel that would create less dependency on foreign fuels, as well as aid Missouri farmers.

An estimated 260 to 280 million gallons of ethanol would be needed to meet the ethanol mandate. The increased usage would bring in an additional $15 million each year for Missouri corn producers.

No estimates were provided for the biodiesel blend.

The biodiesel bill – SB732 – and ethanol bill – SB569 – are awaiting assignment to committees for the legislative session that begins Jan. 5.