March 15, 2005

Crapo: Energy Bill Seeks Idaho Reactor,Doubling Of EthanolUse

Senator sees jobs created at INEEL and in rural Idaho

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo urged a timely vote, as early as next week, on the compromise energy bill announced today by leaders of a House-Senate conference committee. Crapo said the bill contains funding for the Generation IV research nuclear reactor planned for the Idaho National Environmental and Engineering Laboratory, which could create 3,000 construction jobs and another 500 long-term positions at the site. He also predicted the biggest changes with the billâ??s passage would be increased energy security for the nation, more energy efficient consumer products and government facilities, and a sharp increase in the use of renewable energy, especially ethanol that could be produced in Idaho.Regarding the Generation IV reactor, Crapo said, â??Idaho and the INEEL have a bright future in the research of hydrogen as a potential energy source, as well as the expanded use of nuclear energy contemplated in this bill. I commend Senator Craig for his work on the funding for the reactor.â??Crapo said provisions he worked to insert in the original Senate bill that call for doubling the use of ethanol fuels remain in the final legislation headed back to both the House and Senate for a final vote. â??Although we have yet to secure the jobs and infrastructure for ongoing ethanol production in Idaho, several individuals and organizations are in the planning and meeting process regarding ethanol in our state,â?? Crapo said. â??I am confident that given the resourcefulness of Idaho agriculture and small business, that our state will soon join the ranks of those taking advantage of the tax breaks in this legislation that encourage ethanol production.â??Crapo, as a member of both the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Renewables and Energy Efficiency Caucus, fought to include ethanol as a replacement for the gasoline additive MTBE (methyl tertiary butyul ether) which was determined to cause water pollution problems. If the bill moves forward as expected, more than $750 million dollars in grants may be available for ethanol production, and a guaranteed market of 5 billion gallons would be established.â??Research shows ethanol can be produced from sugarbeets, straw, potatoes, grains, and other farm products in addition to corn,â?? Crapo added. â??Rural revitalization and job creation are essential to sound farm and energy policy and this energy bill can do much to create new economic activity in Idaho and across our nation. I urge my colleagues to quickly approve this legislation which will result in rural jobs, income for farm families, cleaner air, and a stable energy policy for our nation.â??# # #