(SIOUX FALLS ARGUS-LEADER) — Ethanol giant Poet has scuttled plans for a $4 billion pipeline that would have carried Midwestern ethanol to the East Coast, citing lack of government support.

The Sioux Falls-based company announced in 2009 that it was working with Magellan Midstream Partners to explore building an 1,800-mile pipeline from Davison County to Linden, N.J. The companies had chosen a route and a pipeline design and were raising money, Poet CEO Jeff Broin said. Plans called for ethanol to begin flowing sometime in 2014.

There was just one hitch: To be viable, a large-scale ethanol pipeline would need federal financing, too. And the Department of Energy — which has granted Poet a loan guarantee to build a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Iowa — does not have the authority to finance biofuels pipelines.

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