Minnesota loses cellulosic ethanol venture

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 18, 2012 - 9:08 PM

A biofuels company opts for plants elsewhere after being helped by nearly $1 million in grant funding from Minnesota.

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ruphinaFeb. 18, 12 9:43 PM

Mn <$1M, MI >$20M. We are even inept at giving our money away. Governments need to get out of the business. Let the venture capitalists lose their money on unproven tech like this that can't even come close to being feasible w/o massive government money. Bill G.

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skylinerbrFeb. 19, 12 8:12 AM

So Pawlenty gave this away. It was nice they kept it secret until well past the time Pawlenty dropped out of the race for president.

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rotsternFeb. 19, 12 9:01 AM

thank God that the communists who were in charge of the Republik of Minnetaxes were thrown out of office in 2010.. if it hadn't been for people like Pawlenty they probably would have given these folks TEN million..

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macretsamFeb. 19, 12 9:06 AM

"No commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants have been built in the United States despite government estimates that 500 million gallons a year would be flowing by now". $100 Million in grants means another $100 million borrowed from China that working folks get to payback with interest.

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LicoriceFeb. 19, 12 2:11 PM

Explain why this company does not have to pay back the money. Many state incentives have provisions for paying the money back if the project or jobs do not materialize. I agree with other posters that the state should stop subsidizing businesses.

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wildcatfaceFeb. 19, 12 6:02 PM

Our elected leaders in charge our tax dollars sure know how to negotiate and write an agreement.

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jcinmnFeb. 19, 12 9:43 PM

MN got sucker punched. I hope the government learned from this debacle. Nothing to do but to pass the word on to other states. Don't trust these people.

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rolflindyFeb. 20, 12 6:12 AM

Count our blessings. Range Fuel in Georgia lost $300 million of investor and taxpayer money before dying. There is no commercially viable cellulose to ethanol process.

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worldcitizenFeb. 20, 12 9:42 AM

It's amazing that a product that lowers gas mileage, provides less energy than it takes to produce, ruins fuel systems of old vehicles, increases food prices, adds new kinds of pollution to the air, depletes ground water and requires massive government subsidies for success is mandated in our gasoline. It's nothing but agricultural welfare.

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jimblqFeb. 20, 1212:58 PM

This is disappointing news. Another delay in moving from sugar based ethanol to wood based ethanol. True all Ethanol is made from sugar, but where that sugar comes from is the difference Cellulosic Ethanol is the HARD way to make ethanol because the sugars must be extracted from non sugar sources such as wood chips, corn stover, switch-grass & even Ferrel Hemp. While the current method of making Ethanol relies on naturally occurring sugar feed-stocks such as corn, sugar beat, sugarcane, etc. We need this technology to reduce food & agricultural costs. Imagine farm scale processing of a few acres of Switch-grass converted into Ethanol to be used in Ethanol/Electric Hybrid agricultural equipment removing a very large portion of the fuel costs associated with food production. While at the same time not taking anything away for food source type feed-stocks. Very disappointing indeed.

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