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American Ethanol Plant, CA

STATUS: Suspended

TYPE: Ethanol

OPPOSITION: Local residents

PROSPECTS: Indeterminate

BACKGROUND: American Ethanol plans to construct a $216 million ethanol plant in Santa Maria, California. The project would employ 40 full-time workers and yield $1.5 million annually to county government from property taxes. The proposed plant capacity is 110 million gallons per year (mmgy) of ethanol, made from corn. The ethanol would be produced for blending with gasoline.

Local residents opposed the plant, concerned about odors and truck traffic. When a feedlot smell became intolerable a few years ago, residents voted to form a special district, taxed themselves and bought the offending business out.  In February 2008, American Ethanol President Dave Baskett wrote an opinion column in the Santa Maria Times addressing odor, water and energy concerns.

As of June 2009, preparation of the state-mandated environmental impact analysis is on hold, pending American Ethanol's resolution of certain issues and consideration of potential changes to the project.

SOURCES: County of Santa Barbara: http://www.countyofsb.org/energy/projects/americanEthanol.asp;
Santa Maria Times: http://www.santamariatimes.com/articles/2008/02/10/opinion/021008c.txt;
Scripps News: http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/19221?page=10;
San Luis Obispo Tribune: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2007/05/04/33382_ethanol-plant-proposed-for-santa.html

Last updated November 8, 2010