Beebe: State Must Push for Biofuels before Offering Drivers Incentives

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Beebe says the state needs to focus more on encouraging production of alternative fuels before it considers offering incentives to consumers of alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles.

The governor spoke today at the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation.  Afterward, he told The Associated Press that he's more concerned about rising gas prices than whether increased interest in hybrid vehicles will take away revenues for the state's roads.  The chairman of the Arkansas Highway Commission has said rising interest in hybrid cars and alternative fuel could mean less gas tax dollars.

Beebe said although revenue for the highway department isn't increasing, it's more important for the state to focus on how the price of gas is affecting Arkansans.

Earlier this year, the governor signed into law a measure to provide incentives for the research and production of biofuels and other alternative fuels in the state.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)