Ethanol Business Booms

Even Without Energy Bill Subsidies, Industry Is Strong

Ethanol plant in Minden, Nebraska

The nation's newest ethanol plant, in Minden, Neb. The plant is owned by a consortium of farmers and investors. Greg Allen, NPR News hide caption

itoggle caption Greg Allen, NPR News

Ethanol producers were among the groups most disappointed in November when the Senate failed to pass a comprehensive energy bill. A key provision of the bill would have nearly doubled the amount of ethanol required to be added to the nation's gasoline.

Ethanol producers say they're still confident the Senate will approve the bill when it returns in January. But even without it, their industry continues to grow. Since 2002, 18 new ethanol plants have opened up nationwide, and 10 more are expected next year. This year, ethanol production will top 2.7 billion gallons. NPR's Greg Allen reports.

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