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Missouri Senate passes biodiesel bill

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Senate has passed a bill that would mandate all diesel fuel sold in Missouri by July 2010 to contain at least 5 percent biodiesel blend, also known as B-5.

The bill's sponsor, State Senator Bill Stouffer (R, Napton), says B-5 will cause less pollution and reduce wear and tear on commercial trucks.

"It gives us an opportunity to raise fuel in Missouri and keep those dollars inside the state, instead of going to Texas, or the Mid-East or Venezuela," Stouffer said.

Despite passing, several senators voted "no."

State Senator Chuck Purgason (R, Caulfield) says the bill is nothing more than a government mandate.

"(Mandates have) put higher prices on the price of food that my consumers buy...it's raised fertilizer prices, production costs, feed costs, and anytime the government gets involved in an industry and rewards a special interest, the industry as a whole usually loses," Purgason said.

The bill passed the State Senate on a 20-11 vote. It now goes to the Missouri House.

Governor Matt Blunt voiced strong support for the development of B-5 during his State of the State Address in January. He praised the State Senate for passing the bill today.

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