Hoping to mimic the success its ethanol mandate has brought to that industry in Minnesota, the state is looking at bumping up its 2 percent biodiesel mandate.
This story from Minnesota Public Radio says a bill before the state legislature would increase that requirement by 10-fold:
“What this does is actually give a signal to industry that they should move ahead, and develop more infrastructure for this product,” [bill sponsor Rep. Al Juhnke, DFL-Willmar] says.
Right now, trucks in Minnesota burn a blend that contains two-percent biodiesel. Juhnke’s bill would increase that to 20-percent by 2015. In the winter months, the requirement drops back to five-percent, until problems with cold weather are worked out. At least half of the biodiesel would be produced in Minnesota.
Juhnke says if biodiesel follows in ethanol’s footsteps, it will be good for rural Minnesota.
“You know, there are 17 ethanol plants right now, each of them averaging probably 35 or 40 really-good paying jobs in these communities, and so that money spins and turns in the local economies out here.”
Juhnke’s bill would also come up with $500,000 to fund algae biodiesel research in Minnesota.