Minnesota Passes Statewide B20 Mandate

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed a bill that will increase the state’s 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. 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.

The legislation also promotes the use of non-traditional feedstocks to fulfill the mandate by requiring that 5 percent of the feedstock come from non-traditional state agricultural resources. That includes algae, waste oils and tallow, as well as other future feedstocks being researched in the state, such as cuphea (an oilseed plant that can grow on marginal soils) and industrial hazelnuts.

“Implementation of the legislation starting in May of 2009 is timely and workable,” said Chuck Neece, Chairman of the Minnesota Biodiesel Council. “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.”

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