Minnesota could again lead nation with E15 standard

Minnesota could again lead nation with E15 standard
February 17th, 2021 | Jessica Sexe

ST. PAUL, MN (Feb. 17, 2021) – Minnesota, the first state to require a minimum E10 fuel blend in 1997, could once again be a national leader in biofuel policy as legislators in St. Paul consider shifting the state’s fuel standard to E15. 

Chris Hanson, General Manager of POET’s biorefinery in Preston, appeared today on behalf of the Minnesota Ethanol Producers Association at the Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Finance and Policy Committee in support of the new standard. Hanson, who recently served on the Governor’s Council on Biofuels, highlighted the positive impacts E15 will have on the state’s economy and environment, including the many long-term benefits for Minnesota consumers and family farmers.

“Not only can E15 protect consumers from unpredictable spikes in the price of foreign oil, it can help free farmers from uncertain assistance from Washington,” Hanson told lawmakers. “Predictable demand growth for E15 would also support thousands of good-paying bio-manufacturing jobs, attract new capital investment for plant construction, improvements, and equipment, and generate additional tax revenues in rural communities across our state.”

The bioethanol industry is an economic engine for the state, supporting nearly 19,000 full-time green jobs and generating more than $1.5 billion in income for Minnesota households. Production of bioethanol and coproducts also drives demand and stabilizes grain prices for family farms across Minnesota.

Senator Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake), who chaired Wednesday’s committee hearing, sponsored the bill.

Minnesota joins Iowa, which introduced legislation last week, in considering a statewide switch to E15. The two states could set a powerful precedent for other Midwest biofuel-producing states. Last year, the Governor’s Council on Biofuels recommended that Minnesota shift to E15 as “a near-term policy priority to accelerate progress toward the Petroleum Replacement Goal of 25 percent biofuel use in gasoline by 2030.”

POET’s founder and CEO, Jeff Broin, commended Minnesota’s Governor and Legislature for the state’s continued leadership on homegrown biofuels.

“We applaud Minnesota’s leaders for taking bipartisan action on E15,” said Broin. “Statewide E15 would boost farm incomes across Minnesota, growing a dependable market for grain and supporting the state’s green economy while having a significant impact on climate change.”

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