JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.– Minnesota has taken another step towards promoting domestic energy security and reducing the state's carbon footprint. Today, Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a bill that will increase the current 2 percent biodiesel mandate to 20 percent by 2015.
According to the legislation, the current 2 percent biodiesel mandate will increase to 5 percent on May 1, 2009; to 10 percent on May 1, 2012; and to 20 percent on May 1, 2015.
"Implementation of the legislation starting in May of 2009 is timely and workable," said Chuck Neece, Chairman of the Minnesota Biodiesel Council, which championed the legislation. "The supply from the current biodiesel production capacity in Minnesota already exceeds 64 million gallons, more than enough to meet the five percent requirement, which would be 40 million gallons."
The increases are not automatic, however. There is built-in flexibility, including an approval process before moving to higher blends. This will allow the legislature, biodiesel producers and other stakeholders to gauge supply and demand impacts before moving to a higher blend.
Ed Hegland, Chairman of the National Biodiesel Board and a Minnesota farmer, praised the legislation's commitment to fuel quality. "The legislation includes quality assurance and national ASTM fuel specifications," he said. "We will continue to work with state leaders and stakeholders impacted by this legislation to ensure only quality fuel continues to enter the marketplace."