Ethanol powered by additional subsidies

Wisconsin State Roundup

Published July 1, 2000  | July 2000 issue

Corn producers in the state received a significant boost this legislative session when a bill was approved to tack a 20-cent per gallon state subsidy onto the price of ethanol. The measure puts Wisconsin ethanol producers on a level footing with neighbor states like Minnesota that similarly subsidize ethanol production.

The move is expected to fuel ethanol production in the state. The bill was signed into law at the former G. Heileman Brewery in LaCrosse, which was shut down by then-owner Stroh Brewing Co. in August of last year, putting 550 people out of work at the time. The brewery was purchased by City Brewery, which along with beer making, hopes to convert part of the brewery to ethanol production. The company has experienced financial difficulty in its start-up phase. The new law caps subsidies to individual producers at $3 million a year.