Minnesota law boosts biodiesel standard

| 5/16/2008

Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a bill into law this week in Minnesota to increase the state’s biodiesel mandate tenfold by the year 2015.

Minnesota law now requires large trucks fueling in the state to use a fuel blend that contains at least 2 percent biodiesel during most of the year.

The state is the only one in the nation to have implemented a biodiesel standard. Louisiana, Oregon and Washington have approved 2 percent standards while New Mexico has authorized a 5 percent requirement.

This week, Pawlenty signed a bill into law, previously SF3683, to increase the biodiesel blend requirement in Minnesota to 20 percent by 2015. Seasonal exceptions will apply.

The amount of biodiesel used is slated to increase to at least 5 percent next year. It will be raised to 10 percent in 2012 and top out at 20 percent in 2015.

During the colder months of November through March, the requirement will drop back to 5 percent. The exception will continue a policy in the state of easing off the biodiesel mandate in colder months because historically the fuel has contributed to operating problems for diesel-powered vehicles during that time period.

Supporters said boosting the state’s commitment to biodiesel will make the state a leader in an emerging area of renewable fuels. Opponents said making such a large commitment to biodiesel would hinder future efforts to develop the next generation of fuels that would be even cleaner.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Minnesota in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor