Joining the growing number of states to boost the production and use of ethanol and other alternative fuels is Missouri. Last week, the state Senate has approved a biofuels mandate as well as tax breaks for motorists who purchase ethanol or other biodiesel fuels.

There was already a law on the books that requires most gasoline sold in the state to contain 10 percent ethanol by January 2008, provided the price was less than regular gasoline.

The new bill will apply a 5 percent biodiesel mandate to diesel fuel sold in Missouri as of April 2009, again provided that the ethanol price is lower than for traditional diesel.

The tax-break bill also received the Senate's preliminary approval, which includes:

Income tax credits up to $20,000 or 20 percent of the cost, whichever is less, for gas stations that install alternative fuels' tanks and pumps.

Starting in 2008, Missouri residents who purchase a hybrid vehicle will get an income tax credit of up to $1,500 or 10 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less.

In 2008 only, the state would waive the sales tax for purchases of E-85 equipped vehicles
The state's agriculture community, generally supports the bill, while truckers oppose most of the proposed biodiesel mandates.

Some lawmakers do oppose the proposed bill; said one "When government comes in and interferes with the free-market system it can do nothing but mess everything up."

Source: Meatingplace.com, Associated Press