COLUMBUS Ethanol plants approved
Ohio is in a prime location for ethanol production, a state official said.
By MICHELE C. HLADIK
COLUMBUS -- Ethanol plants in Ohio may soon become a reality.
After hearing testimony from the directors of Ohio's departments of agriculture and development as well as others close to the issue, members of the Ohio House of Representatives Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee gave their approval to legislation paving the way for the plants in Ohio.
The committee also added an emergency clause to the legislation allowing it to become law upon Gov. Bob Taft's signature. Taft is said to support building the plants.
Fred Dailey, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, told committee members that Ohio is in a prime location because it is at the eastern edge of the corn belt and near the northeast coast of the country.
"Our location in the Eastern Corn Belt makes Ohio an ideal place to locate an ethanol production plant that would serve the evolving market in the northeast states," he said. "Our availability of transportation resources would be unmatched once a production area is developed."
State Rep. Keith Faber, R-Celina, and state Sen. Larry Mumper, R-Marion, have introduced similar bills that would create an Ethanol Incentive Board and tax credits.
About this product: Ethanol is blended with gasoline and can be used in concentrations as high as 85 percent ethanol in specially designed flexible-fuel vehicles.
Ethanol plant supporters say the renewable fuel is more environmentally friendly and could help the U.S. lessen its dependency on foreign oil.
In Defiance County in northwest Ohio, a group of investors has expressed interest in developing a 30-million-gallon-per-year plant there. Meanwhile, a study determined that Leipsic, in northwest Ohio, would make the best site.
In northeast Ohio, Nordic Energy LLC and Nordic Biofuels LLC have announced plans to build an ethanol production plant and an energy power plant in Ashtabula County.