Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty supports an increase in the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline to at least 15 percent and is hopeful about the future of next generation biofuels.
The governor who might run for president in 2012 answered several questions about ethanol from reporters after helping celebrate the grand opening of the new Syngenta Seeds headquarters in Minnetonka, MN earlier this week.
On the topic of increasing the allowable ethanol blend to 15 percent, “That’s something we have pushed in Minnesota and there’s some good work that has been done at Minnesota State at Mankato showing you can use 15 percent or more without damaging the engines,” Pawlenty said. “We’ve tried to encourage EPA to look at that and they seem to be unwilling or unable to make a decision so far.”
The governor is proud of the ethanol industry in Minnesota and the work being done by companies like Syngenta Seeds to increase corn yields to meet the demand for food, feed and fuel. “We’re going to have to have technological breakthroughs, yields are going to have to be increased,” he said. “That’s why Syngenta is so important, not just for the economy in general, but for that whole mission.”
Pawlenty also looks forward to breakthroughs that will lead to the large scale commercialization of cellulosic ethanol. “We’re hopeful that we’ll see next generation biofuels in the not too distant future based on cellulosic ethanol,” he said. “So far in terms of being able to deploy it, it’s been somewhat small scale but we’re hoping there will be more breakthroughs on that.”
Gov. Pawlenty has announced he will not seek re-election as governor and after his appearance at the Values Voter Summit over the weekend and preparations to launch a national fundraising committee has fueled more speculation that he is considering a run for president in 2012.