Minnesota Biodiesel Plant Means Jobs

Cindy Zimmerman

At the opening celebration of the Renewable Energy Group (REG) REG Albert Lea facility on Monday, Minnesota state representative Rich Murray (left) and local Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Randy Kehr (right) both congratulated REG president Dan Oh (center) on fueling the economy by creating new jobs.

“They’re great green collar jobs,” said Kehr, who noted the importance of the agriculture industry to the region. “If you take the value-added in soybeans here in Freeborn county on the seven million bushels that were harvested last year, that represents nearly $1,750,000 into our community.”

Listen to the opening ceremony comments here. REG biodiesel plant opening ceremony

Rep. Murray said that job creation is the number one priority for lawmakers. “I’m excited about the jobs, that’s why I’m here today,” he told me. “It’s a great value add for agriculture and agriculture is the back bone of southern Minnesota and of the whole state.”

Minnesota has had an increasing biodiesel blend requirement since 2002, which is slated to go to 20 percent by 2015. “And this plant’s going to help us get there,” said Murray.

Listen to my interview with Rep. Murray here. Minnesota state representative Rich Murray

REG Albert Lea biodiesel plant photo album

Biodiesel, REG, Soybeans