Already a renewable fuels policy leader, the state of Minnesota is considering adopting a stricter mandate for biofuels content in the state’s gasoline supplies. Governor Pawlenty announced his support for a 20 percent ethanol content and a handful of bills have been introduced at the legislature to implement the goal.
At this writing there were six bills introduced addressing the mandate. Several bills would allow the 20 percent ethanol mandate to take effect by January 2010 or earlier if at least 50% of new vehicles sold in the state have warranties covering the higher ethanol blends.
One bill [HF 216] has a broader focus and would establish that “it is the goal of the state of Minnesota that at least 20 percent of the liquid fuel sold in the state is derived from renewable sources by December 31, 2015.” Diesel fuels in addition to gasoline would be covered under this proposal.
Minnesota has 14 ethanol plants with production capacity of about 400 million gallons. Three plants are under construction that would add about 150 million gallons of production. To meet the requirement of 20 percent blend with in-state suppliers by 2010, Minnesota would need about 575 million gallons of ethanol production.