St. Louis Public Radio News
10:20 am
Tue August 22, 2006

Blagojevich pledges $1.2 billion for biofuels

St. Louis, MO. – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich used an Edwardsville farm today to announce his $1.2 billion plan to help cut the state's dependence on foreign oil.

The plan includes investing $225 million to build as many as 20 corn-to-ethanol plants, five soy biodiesel plants and four sites that would make ethanol from plant waste.

Blagojevich wants to use biofuels to meet half the state's gasoline needs by 2017.

"We have been blessed with natural resources like corn and soybeans," Blagojevich said. "And that we can really, I think, with a real investment and effort, make a real difference in the national energy crisis because there is no national energy policy."

Blagojevich's Republican challenger in November, state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, has proposed requiring all Illinois gasoline to contain ethanol and requiring utilities to generate part of their power from renewable sources such as wind.