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The Rock River Valley in northern Illinois is becoming a showcase for alternative energy: three ethanol plants, a biodiesel facility, three wind-powered electrical farms, a methane-powered generator and research and development site for fuel alternatives. The investment over six years could reach $750 million. Subsidies and incentives are the key, according to a story in the Rockford paper. One economics expert said gasoline would have to sell for $5 a gallon before ethanol were competitive with

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Here's the numbers on the new biofuel plants courtesy of the State of Illinois: five new or expanded ethanol and biodiesel plants, $25 million from the state, 225 million gallons of biofuels a year, $334 million in private investment, 150 new jobs created. There's probably room for a "Reduce Illinois' dependence on foreign oil: priceless" line in here somewhere.

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