The state senate has voted to require most Missouri diesel fuel users to run a kind of fuel that mixes oil with such things as animal fat and soybeans.
Opponents to the biodiesel bill charge it’s government interfering with the private market place…One Senator calls it socialism in the marketplace, made worse because the state is giving tax credits to builders of bio-diesel plants.
The biodiesel bill is similar to the ethanol mandate of 2005—but it only requires a five percent blend of biodiesel while the ethanol mandate requires a ten percent ethanol and gasoline blend.
Smithville Senator LuAnn Ridgeway argues, "When we start tinkering…at the industry level, it is nothing more than marketplace nation-building, and it’s just not right."
But supporters such as Frank Barnitz of Lake Spring think the opponents are misguided in demanding the biofuels industry prove itself while not demanding similar accountability from the other side. "How come big oil doesn’t have to prove itself?" he asks.
Supporters of the biodiesel mandate say it will mean more energy money will stay in Missouri and less will go out of state or out of the country….while also reducing to some degree a reliance on foreign oil.
The senate is likely to send the bill to the House later this week.