In his State of the State message, Governor Matt Blunt called it his "Energy and Green Power Initiative." In addition to the full funding of Missouri's bio-diesel and ethanol incentive funds, the governor said, "I ask that we give Missouri's heartland economy a major and lasting boost by requiring that motor fuel sold in Missouri for passenger cars and trucks contain 10 percent ethanol."
The governor continued, "This standard will spur even greater economic development in rural Missouri. For all of us, it will provide cleaner air, lower prices and greater independence from Middle East oil supplies. Please stand with me against special interests and for our farmers, consumers, the environment and new energy supplies made right here in Missouri."
This is not the first time Matt Blunt has expressed those sentiments, and it appears likely the Energy and Green Power Initiative will pass easily through the Republican-controlled General Assembly.
Naturally, the governor's brother, lobbyist Andrew Blunt, is not going to let an opportunity like that pass by. Today, the younger Blunt brother added a new client to his lobbyist list. According to documents filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, Andrew Blunt now represents AGP, an Omaha, Neb., based firm...which in the fall of this year will open a new ethanol production plant. The company also recently announced a major expansion at its soybean processing plant in St. Joseph.
AGP has been a major player in Missouri politics for quite some time, according to Federal Election Commission documents. Over the past four years the company's political action committee has contributed $12,000 to Senator Jim Talent, $6,000 to Senator Kit Bond, $10,000 to Congressman Sam Graves, and $10,500 to Rep. Kenny Hulshof.
Governor Blunt's campaign contribution disclosure forms do not include any donations from AG Processing, but he has received $2,200 over the past two election cycles from the Omaha offices of the national law firm Kutak Rock. According to Kutak Rock's website, the law firm serves as counsel "for the acquisition, construction and financing of ethanol plants."