The Minnesota Legislature has passed the largest biodiesel mandate in the country, sending the bill to Governor Tim Pawlenty for his signature.
SF 3683 is an omnibus agricluture bill authored by Sen. Jim Vickerman, DFL-Tracy (pictured left) that uses language from original legislation introduced by Rep. Al Juhnke, DFL-Willmar, (pictured right). It moves the biodiesel standard up to 5 percent a year from now, 10 percent by 2012, and finally, a whopping 20 percent by 2015. The measure enforces the higher mandate only during the warmer months of the late spring, summer, and early fall months in the northern state:
The minimum content levels in clauses (3) and (4) [10 percent and 20 percent mandates, respectively] are effective during the months of April, May, June, July, August, September, and October only. The minimum content for the remainder of the year is five percent. However, if the commissioners of agriculture, commerce, and pollution control determine, after consultation with the biodiesel task force and other technical experts, that an American Society for Testing and Materials specification or equivalent federal standard exists for the specified biodiesel blend level in those clauses that adequately addresses technical issues associated with Minnesota’s cold weather and publish a notice in the State Register to that effect, the commissioners may allow the specified biodiesel blend level in those clauses to be effective year-round.
(b) The minimum content levels in paragraph (a), clauses (3) and (4), become effective on the date specified only if the commissioners of agriculture, commerce, and pollution control publish notice in the State Register and provide written notice to the chairs of the house and senate committees with jurisdiction over agriculture, commerce, and transportation policy and finance, at least 270 days prior to the date of each scheduled increase, that all of the following conditions have been met and the state is prepared to move to the next scheduled minimum content level:
Those conditions include that a sufficient amount of biodiesel is available from at least three-fourths U.S. and/or Canadian feedstock to meet the mandate and that 5 percent of the biodiesel produced comes from feedstocks other than agricultural crops, including algae, used cooking oils and animal fats.