By  | 

Ethanol plants that do just enough to meet a June 30 production deadline would be allowed to get some state incentives, but do not other tax breaks unless they expand under a bill debate Friday in the Legislature.

Four plants that had earlier been expected to qualify for the ethanol incentives would not be impacted.

But up to eight other plants that lawmakers said could bring in so-called "stills on wheels" to meet the June 100,000-gallon production deadline would be.

Those plants could bet the ethanol incentive but not tax breaks under the LB775 program or the Invest Nebraska Act unless they expand to 15-million gallons by Oct. 1.

The bill is in the second of three rounds.

Lawmakers adjourned before taking a vote on advancing it.

koln/ Extended Web Coverage

Ethanol Facts

Consumer Benefits

  • U. S. consumers use more than 16 billion gallons of high performance, cleaner burning ethanol-blended gasoline each year.

  • Ethanol increases oxygenate supplies, reducing the need for MTBE imports and helping to reduce consumer costs.

  • Ethanol is a high-octane blending component used by many gasoline marketers -- helping to keep this important class of trade viable and creating competition for the major oil companies.

  • Since the petroleum refining industry is running at near capacity, the ethanol industry helps extend our petroleum supply, thereby helping moderate fuels costs to consumers.

Economic Benefits

  • More than $3 billion has been invested in 57 ethanol production facilities operating in 20 different states across the country.

  • The ethanol industry is responsible for more than 40,000 direct and indirect jobs, creating more than $1.3 billion in increased household income annually, and more than $12.6 billion over the next five years.

  • The ethanol industry directly and indirectly adds more than $6 billion to the American economy each year.

  • The demand for grain created by ethanol production increases net farm income more than $12 billion annually.
  • Increases in ethanol production offer enormous potential for economic growth in small rural communities. USDA has estimated that a 100 million gallon ethanol plant could create 2,250 local jobs.

Environmental Benefits
  • Ten-percent ethanol blends reduce carbon monoxide better than any other reformulated gasoline blend, more than 25 percent.

  • Ethanol is low in reactivity and high in oxygen content, making it an effective tool in reducing ozone pollution.

Source: (American Coalition for Ethanol Web site) contributed to this report.