Diesel drivers on Minnesota roads and highways will be running on cleaner fuel this summer as they start filling up with the nation's first, required 10 percent biodiesel blend. Known as B10, this higher blend will be sold annually from April 1 through September 30. A five percent mixture that works better in Minnesota's winter weather, called B5, will be used between October and late March each year.
"This new law puts Minnesota at the forefront of promoting cleaner, home-grown fuels," said Governor Mark Dayton. "Minnesota's nation-leading biodiesel mandate is great news for our state's farmers -- whose crops will now be in even greater demand -- and another important step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
Not only is switching to biodiesel a benefit for our environment, it is good for our economy. Minnesota biodiesel is a local product -- mostly supplied by homegrown soybeans -- which are one of the state's leading cash crops. Biodiesel contributes more than $900 million annually to the Minnesota economy.
"Growing our own renewable energy from our farming community strengthens our energy future moving forward," said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. "Using products grown locally rather than importing into our state reduces our energy dependence."
Minnesota has always been a leader in biodiesel and has three plants in full production. The plants, located in Glenville, Brewster and Isanti, produce a combined 63 million gallons of biodiesel annually. The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association estimates B10 will create an additional demand of 20 million gallons of biodiesel each year, bringing total demand to 60 million gallons annually.
"I'm pleased and proud to see a clean and renewable fuel being produced from seeds sown and soybeans grown, raised and harvested right here in Minnesota," said Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson. "A strong agricultural future for our state is secured by value added opportunities like this, to produce and consume a higher blend of biodiesel."
Although only diesel drivers can burn the B10 blend, the effects of this new requirement are felt in rural economies, urban air quality and around the state's workforce producing this homegrown renewable fuel.