MFU applauds E15 bill introduction in Minnesota Senate
Feb. 18, 2021
The biofuels industry is one of many that has been depressed by the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s on top of the previous Environmental Protection Agency’s small refinery exemptions that reduced overall demand for biofuels from oil refineries.
This has had significant consequences for farmers and their communities, who rely on biofuels plants as a market for their products and a source of good jobs. Fortunately, the Minnesota Senate Agriculture Committee heard a bill this week that would expand the use of biofuels statewide. Senate File 944, authored by Sen. Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake), calls for increasing Minnesota’s biofuel standard from 10% to 15%.
“Minnesota led the nation with its E10 standard, and we have another chance to lead with E15,” said Gary Wertish, President of Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU). “Biofuels is a top legislative priority for us this year, and we’re pleased to see it addressed in SF 944.”
MFU, a grassroots membership organization, has long supported increasing blends of homegrown biofuels for several reasons, including:
- Higher biofuel blends provide consumers higher octane, lower cost at the pump and fewer toxic emissions than petroleum alone.
- According to U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture, current biofuel production reduces carbon emissions by 43% compared to gasoline.
- Minnesota can easily meet a 5% increase in the biofuel standard with existing in-state production capacity, which will add value to the product already produced and used here.
“We know that biofuels have bipartisan support in both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature, as well as the support of Governor Tim Walz,” President Wertish said. “On behalf of our members, I encourage the Legislature to pass SF 944.”
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Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers (www.mfu.org)