Louisiana governor signs biofuel mandate

| Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed a bill on Monday, June 12, requiring that 2 percent of all fuels sold in the state be biofuels – such as ethanol and biodiesel – once production of the fuels is high enough to sustain full-time use.

Blanco said in a statement that it will take about 18 to 24 months for producers to make enough of the fuels to trigger the mandate in the legislation.

While some opponents of the bill have expressed fears that it will raise the price of regular fuels at the pump, Blanco said there are measures in place to ensure that does not happen.

“My number one guiding principle in this whole process is to ensure that the consumer is protected,” she said. “(The Department of Agriculture) has assured me that the implementation of the legislation will be delayed if the are indications that the mandate would raise gas prices for consumers.”

The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported in May that there are currently no plants in the state that produce ethanol, but the state’s construction budget includes $1 million to build such a plant in East Carroll Parish.

Vanguard SynFuels LLC operates the state’s only biodiesel plant in Pollock.

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