Missouri’s push in bio-fuel production is a testament to the state’s role as a leader in the agriculture industry for Governor Blunt. He says Missouri is the fourth state to forge ahead in the bio-fuel frontier with its 10% ethanol blend requirement beginning in 2008. He says he’s confident that Missouri can produce the 300 million gallons of ethanol needed to meet that standard as well as an excess for exporting.
Blunt says he expects the market to sufficiently regulate whether enough state-produced ethanol remains in the state to meet the 10% ethanol standard. He adds the state will be working with providers to ensure that ethanol is distributed properly.
Livestock owners are worried about the ethanol standard’s impact on the prices of corn-based feed, which impacts their profit. Though corn prices have nearly doubled, Blunt says a healthy price is good for both farmers and the economy. Fred Ferrell, Director of the state Agriculture Department says the high prices will simply encourage corn growers to produce more crop, which will in turn drive prices back down. Senator Dan Clemens adds that once bio-fuel production takes off, livestock owners will have an abundance of a by-product to use as an alternative feed, dry distiller grains, or soy-bean meal.
Blunt says his bio-diesel and ethanol initiative improves air quality, creates jobs, generates additional revenue and revitalizes the rural agriculture community. Both he and Senator Clemens say state bio-fuel production would lessen the U.S. reliance on European oil and could potentially lead to a North American Independence with fuel. The state currently has 7 bio-fuel plants in Missouri and Blunt says more are being developed.