The U.S. House is expected to approve a wide-ranging energy bill today (Thursday) that would double the use of corn-based ethanol. Congressman Jim Nussle, a Republican from Manchester who’s running for governor, says it’s huge. “Iowa stands to probably be one of the biggest victors,” Nussle says. “We, as a result of this, I believe will be established as an energy state.” Nussle says jobs will be created, as he predicts 10 new ethanol plants will open in Iowa over the next couple of years. “I believe this is a huge victory for Iowa as well as for our country in making sure we are less dependent on foreign oil,” Nussle says. Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, agrees. “It preserves and protects and promotes our ethanol production,” King says. King says the other big part of the bill grants biodiesel the same tax breaks as ethanol. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the energy bill tomorrow (Friday). Iowa Senator Charles Grassley was a member of the conference committee that crafted the compromise energy bill. King says Grassley was key in getting those pro-ethanol and pro-biodiesel elements in the legislation. King says Grassley’s fingerprints are “all across this energy bill.” King says a bill he introduced in the House that extended tax breaks to small biodiesel producers wound up being patched into the final version of the energy bill.
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