Truckers: More Study Before MN Biodiesel Mandate

John Davis

Friday will mark a historic day as Minnesota becomes the first state in the nation to require all diesel sold in the state to have a 5 percent biodiesel blend.

A biodiesel mandate is nothing new for the land of 10,000 lakes. The state has had a 2 percent requirement since 2005. And in 2012 the mandate jumps to 10 percent and 20 percent in 2015. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that although they’ve softened their stance against the green fuel after seeing firsthand that it can work, some groups are still concerned about biodiesel:

John Hausladen, president of Minnesota Trucking Association and a member of the state task force [appointed to study any possible issues with the increasing mandates], said he’s not too worried about the 5 percent increase, but he is worried about the fuel price fluctuations and future increases in biodiesel concentration.

And even though the mandates will be eased during the coldest winter months, Hausladen said he still thinks there needs to be more performance testing on biodiesel.

“It’s one thing to test in a lab, but it’s another thing to test biodiesel in a truck on the road in below-freezing temperatures,” he said.

Before the 2005 mandate, the Minnesota Trucking Association was one of the biggest opponents of biodiesel, arguing that the fuel was unproven and would cause serious problems. But since then, the group’s position has softened.

“We’re not against biodiesel, we just want to make sure it’s used properly,” Hausladen said.

Other members of the task force believe any kinks in Minnesota’s biodiesel mandate will be worked out and serve as a good example to the rest of the nation.