Wisconsin Budget Gains Biodiesel Group’s Praise

John Davis

wba_field1thumbnail.jpgIt took a lot longer than anticipated, but lawmakers in Wisconsin have finally reached agreement on that state’s budget… and the Wisconsin Biodiesel Association (WBA) says its $26 million renewable energy package will help make the state competitive in the biodiesel business.

This story in Wisconsin Ag Connection says the WBA is applauding the approval of the biodiesel measures in the bill, including biodiesel distribution incentives, a $4 million grant to develop a soybean crushing facility, and a biodiesel producers’ state income tax credit:

“We are thrilled that the Legislature has made such a significant commitment to the biodiesel industry in Wisconsin,” said John Blaska, president of the Landmark Services Cooperative Board of Directors. “Thanks to the dedication of Governor Doyle and the efforts of State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, State Rep. Brett Davis, and State Sen. Bob Jauch, we are now one significant step closer to bringing Wisconsin’s first soybean crushing facility to Evansville.”

Landmark recently announced it will match any investment made by the state toward a soybean crushing facility in Evansville, up to $4 million. The addition of a soybean crushing plant will add substantial value to the state’s agricultural endeavors by cutting transportation costs and increasing soybean production, potentially bringing Wisconsin an additional $235 million in revenue and savings.

WSA Director Bob Karls says Wisconsin soybean farmers have been working for 15 years to bring a soybean processing facility to the state. While Wisconsin is the 13th largest soybean producer in the country, it is the only one of these states without its own soybean processing facility.

“It is difficult to envision a more concrete example of the way in which Governor Doyle’s pursuit of a renewable energy bio-industry could create more positive economic impact for the state,” said Jeff Pieterick, president of the Wisconsin Biodiesel Association. “The passage of this renewable energy package provides substantial infrastructure that supports the bottom line for agricultural producers throughout Wisconsin.”

Biodiesel, Government, Legislation