JEFFERSON CITY — Sidelined last year due to the pandemic, Missouri State Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, is pressing ahead with the Missouri Made Fuels Act to bring biofuels into the state’s diesel consumption. After all, Missouri is where biofuels began. The Senate Ag Committee conducting a hearing on it last week.

In winter months, the percentage would go back to 5 percent, he says.

With agriculture being the No. 1 economic driver in the state, Hoskins hopes more use of soy in Missouri with help local farmers — and keep more of the product in Missouri.

Those opposing the bill testified against a biodiesel requirement, Hoskins says. Others in past expressed concerned about biodiesel use in colder temperatures. However, the senator points to Minnesota, which already has a biofuel standard.

The ramp up would start in 2022-23 with a 5 percent blend, then upped to 10 percent in 2023-24. Afterward, it would go to 20 percent during summer months, then reduced to 5 percent from December-March.

With a push for cleaner energy, the 21st District senator says SB 96 is receiving bipartisan support.

Last year the House approved the measure, but time ran out for it to be approved by the Senate due to state lockdown. But this year feels different.

Hoskins says he hopes to have the Missouri Made Fuels Act voted out of the Senate Ag Committee this week, so it can scheduled for debate in the full Senate. 

As the newly selected chairman for the Senate Economic Development Committee, Hoskins wants to bring in economic drivers to rural Missouri, he says. Last week, he filed the Missouri Rural Workforce Development Act that would provide tax credits to businesses that add jobs in counties with 90,000 or less people. According to Hoskins, it is patterned after a successful program in the state of Georgia.