Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is part of a small bipartisan delegation from Congress that will meet today at the White House with President Bush to discuss the pending energy bill. Grassley says high gasoline costs underscore the importance of the meeting and the legislation, which he says will include tax incentives coming out of the Senate Finance Committee, which he chairs. Grassley says the tax incentive package will include environmentally-friendly wind energy, biodiesel and ethanol. “These initiatives for electricity and fuel are important to our farmers and to economic development in rural America.” Grassley says the bill would also mandate that oil companies blend a certain amount of corn-based ethanol into gasoline every year. The bill will include a mandate for six-billion gallons which Grassley says he’ll try to raise to eight-billion gallons. He says at five-billion gallons, it would use up 20-percent of the corn crop. About three-point-four billion gallons of the corn-based fuel additive were produced in the U.S. last year. Grassley says a mandate may not even be needed because “we’re using every drop that can be produced right now at three-and-a-half billion.” He says the mandate would help the industry continue to grow. Iowa’s already the nation’s leader in ethanol production, with 13 plants now running statewide and 14 more proposed or under construction.
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