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August 28, 2006

Illinois unveils biofuels heavy energy plan

***ILLINOIS GOV. UNVEILS BIOFUELS-HEAVY ENERGY PLAN
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) introduced a $1.2 billion plan yesterday that aims to replace 50% of the state's energy supply with biofuels by 2017.
The plan calls for new incentives to help triple Illinois' current production of biofuels, as well as build up to ten new coal gasification plants to convert coal into natural gas, diesel fuel and electricity. "No other state has the combination of natural resources that we have here in Illinois," said Blagojevich, who is up for re-election this fall. "We're the nation's leading producer of soybeans. We're the number two producer of corn. And we have the nation's third largest reserves of coal. That means opportunity--opportunity to turn more corn into ethanol and more soybeans into diesel fuel. And it means turning coal into home heating fuel and electricity," he added.
Specifically, the plan calls for investments of:
--$100 million over the next five years to build up to 20 new ethanol plants in the state. Illinois currently has six ethanol plants online and at least one more under construction, according to the Renewable Fuels Association;
--$100 million over the next 10 years to build four cellulosic ethanol plants;
--$25 million to build five new biodiesel plants, with no timeframe given.
The state currently has one biodiesel plant online, although several other projects are planned.
--$30 million over the next five years to add 900 more E85 (85% ethanol, 15%
gasoline) pumps throughout the state by 2010, meaning 20% of Illinois gasoline stations will offer E85. According to the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, Illinois currently has 139 E85 stations, although one is designated for private access only.
--$775 million over the next 10 years to help build up to 10 new coal gasification plants across the state.
Blagojevich said he would also create biofuels task force and issue an executive order for all state ethanol permits to be expedited, in order to speed up construction of the plants.
The plan will cost an estimated $27 million/yr in general revenue. To fund the plan, the governor said he will increase enforcement efforts to collect taxes from corporations that evade taxation. The Illinois Department of Revenue estimates that businesses owe $35-40 million in sales and corporate income taxes to the state, the governor noted.
While Illinois biofuels supporters were pleased with the announcement, the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMA) was concerned. "I didn't see anything in it [the plan] that helps with oil production in Illinois,"
Executive Vice President William Fleischli said. Illinois currently has only four refineries, whereas a decade ago it had more than double, he said.
Additionally, IPMA was concerned over the plan's support for E85, since the fuel gets 25-30% less mileage than conventional gasoline, he said. IPMA would like to study the plan more before weighing in, he noted.
But Fleischli was also concerned with the plan's price tag and where more revenue may be generated. If there is a tax on gasoline under the plan, IPMA will not support that, he added.
-Rachel Gantz, rgantz@opisnet.com

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August 24, 2006

Good letter debunking many biodiesel myths perpetuated by big oil

The Imperium Port of Grays Harbor project is a good teaching moment for the public.

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August 9, 2006

Business week mentions Imerium Renewables (again)

yea, Imperium Renewables is in BusinessWeek (again)

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