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ND Pols Wrangle over Biofuels Support

AP. Two North Dakota Democratic state lawmakers want to use money from the state-owned Bank of North Dakota for ethanol, biodiesel and wind energy projects.

The proposal, announced Wednesday by the two Democratic representatives, would create a renewable energy fund supported each year with either 30% of the bank profits or $20 million, whichever is less.

The plan would provide tax breaks for people who invest in biodiesel equipment, fuel cell-powered vehicles and such renewable energy projects as ethanol or biodiesel plants. It also would allow income tax credits for people who use ethanol.

Republicans say the plan is redundant, unbudgeted and unrealistic.

As an aside, ND Governor John Hoeven (R) was the president and CEO of the Bank of North Dakota from 1993–2000, when he was elected governor.

Whatever the partisan coloring on this particular debate, the discussion over allocation of financial resources to support alternative and renewable solutions is a good one—and one that has to happen from the municipal level on up to the national.



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