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Senate Committee Passes Renewable Fuels Bill
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/25/2010

The Senate Committee on Rural Issues, Biofuels and Information Technology has approved a bill that will encourage the development, production and use of renewable fuels in Wisconsin. The measure, which passed with a 4-1 vote, is the product of a legislative study committee co-chaired by Senator Pat Kreitlow of Chippewa Falls and Rep. Scott Suder of Abbotsford.

"Encouraging the development, production and use of renewable fuels will create good paying, sustainable jobs - the kind of jobs that can help our state's economy recover and grow into the future," said Kreitlow, who chairs the committee. "You only have to look at the impact ethanol plants in Wheeler and Stanley have had on those communities to see how what renewable energy can mean to our economy."

The legislation includes a series of recommendations made by the panel, including efforts to organize the way biofuel research and development is managed in Wisconsin, streamlining the bureaucracy and regulatory burdens faced by manufacturers and retailers and a plan to set realistic benchmarks for the industry.

Kreitlow says a key component to the plan is the way it reallocates current resources, including tax credits, instead of creating new exemptions or spending.

"This bill offers a balanced and fiscally responsible plan that puts Wisconsin at the forefront of one of the fastest growing industries in our country, an industry that reduces our dependence on foreign oil and creates good paying jobs," he said. "Today's vote makes it clear that there is broad, bipartisan support to see this bill move forward and to see Wisconsin play a prominent role in the renewable fuel industry."

The Chippewa Falls Democrat says he is optimistic that the full State Senate will take up the bill and pass it in the next few weeks.

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