Thursday, April 10, 2003

U.S. Senate panel OKs ethanol bill

Ohio farmers back additive rule

By Malia Rulon
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Legislation that would triple the amount of corn-based ethanol used in gasoline by 2012 advanced in the Senate on Wednesday despite concerns raised by the makers of a gasoline additive that the bill bans.

The Environment and Public Works Committee approved the measure on a voice vote, sending the bill to the Senate for further consideration.

Ohio farmers are pushing for the bill to be approved quickly. The nation's seventh largest corn grower, Ohio is the only state in the Midwest without a plant that turns corn into ethanol or soybeans into diesel fuel.

Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, a bill sponsor, said it's critical that the legislation pass Congress by this summer.

Sixteen states have enacted bans on MTBE, and additional states are considering bans on the gas additive blamed for polluting drinking water in many areas, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. That means the gasoline market will need a replacement additive soon to make sure supply and distribution of fuel is not interrupted, Voinovich said.

"Without this legislation, we are going to have a major problem producing gasoline," said Voinovich, a Republican.

Joe Cornley, a spokesman for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, said the bill should boost prices for Ohio-grown corn and encourage financial backing for an ethanol plant.

"The real challenge for the plants in Ohio is that they have to be economically viable," he said. "We need to do things as a state to make sure of that."

But Frank Maisano, a spokesman for the Washington-based Oxygenated Fuels Association, said the bill focuses too much on ethanol.

"That's going to lead to higher prices and less supply for consumers," he said. "There is just not enough ethanol in the short term to be able to satisfy the thirst of American supply."

Companies that produce oxygenated fuel additives are more supportive of a similar measure in the House that does not ban MTBE nationwide but leaves that decision up to individual states, Maisano said.

War news better, but still worrisome
Local soldier on TV in Iraq
Girl Scouts support troops
Vigils, Meetings, Rallies
Keeping in touch

Airport scans all checked bags now
Twitty car wreck remains mystery
Catholic students gather to call for end to Iraq war
Kids already giving back to community
Booth ends 5-year stint serving on City Council
Panel may rule against Cranley
Suit says city violated labor act by cutting OT
Tristate A.M. Report

PULFER: Gorman Farm
Some Good News

Popular tavern draws complaints
Monroe budget deficit brings talk of cuts or higher taxes
Beer might liven up next Freedom Fest
Home repair funding sought
Switcheroo planned by GOP
MRDD services won't be withheld
Development gains tax package

House to decide on gambling
U.S. Senate panel OKs ethanol bill
Mega Millions profits underwhelming
Ohio Moments

Airport pays church $3.2M
Ky. Democratic candidates gather to hash out issues in forum at NKU
Club blames fire on contractors, building owners
Wal-Mart strictures settled
Woman, 31, found dead in pickup submerged in river
Judge delays trial in death of toddler
Two men charged in Georgetown slaying
Ky. to open six new courses
Obituary: Edra Black, widow of former Enquirer editor