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Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has been a longtime proponent of ethanol use nationwide. During his tenure as governor of Nebraska, Nelson created and served as the first chairman of the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition, which began with nine Midwest states but now includes 30 states, Puerto Rico and five countries. From 1990 to 1997, Nebraska, with 6,000 people employed in ethanol production, tripled production to 300 million gallons, ranking third in the nation. During that time, Nelson was a public figure in promoting the industry. In the above photo, taken in 1995, the governor demonstrates an ethanol-fueled vehicle at a race track north of Fremont, Neb. Since being elected to the Senate in 2000, Nelson has continued to champion the corn-based fuel and other renewable fuels. Upon his arrival on Capitol Hill, he co-sponsored a measure with Sens. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) to boost production of such fuels. That bill is now included in the energy legislation currently pending in Congress.

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