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The distance between boom and bust has gotten pretty short. Just last year, rural towns across the country were looking at an ethanol construction and production boom. Now, bust.
AP reporter Chris Blank reports on a shuttered biofuels plant in Lilbourn, Missouri. The Great River Soy biodiesel plant produced just 94,000 gallons of fuel in two weeks before it ran out of money and closed. "It's a scene that has been repeated throughout the United States: Clovis, N.M. Nevada, Mo. Hartsburg, Ill. Lamoni, Iowa. Evansville, Wis. Greybull, Wyo. Rock Port, Mo. Belle Fourche, S.D.," Blank wrote. "All were supposed to have biofuels plants operating or under construction by now. None do."
"It was a perfect storm of opportunity for the ethanol industry, and a perfect combination of every single element that they have counted on turning against them," said David Swenson, a researcher at Iowa State University. "The infrastructure isn't there and wholesale patriotic demand for ethanol didn't materiali