Governor’s push for biofuels receives bipartisan support

Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 10:41 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Gov. Tim Walz has sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to support biofuels and reverse the previous administration’s support for oil refinery emissions exemptions.

In the letter, Walz asks Biden to issue an executive order enforcing the Clean Air Act by replacing the use of aromatics in gasoline with cleaner alternatives.

He further asked the president to adopt new renewable fuel standard regulations to prevent billion-dollar companies from competing with the biofuels industry.

Additionally, he encouraged Biden to support Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D - Minnesota) effort to create a renewable fuel infrastructure grant program to establish underground storage tank regulations.

He said the plan would make way for higher biofuel blends.

The governor’s push for biofuels has received bipartisan support from state lawmakers, like Sen. Nick Frentz (DFL - North Mankato) and Rep. Jeremy Munson (R - Lake Crystal).

“We have great ethanol production in my district. I know that there’s a push for E15 mandates, so actually mandating 15% ethanol,” Munson said. “We have a big issue in Minnesota, where the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is not authorizing the ethanol producers in Minnesota to add production at a very fast rate. So we have a facility in my district that’s asked for the ability to add capacity, and it’s been a long time coming.”

This week, the Senate Agriculture Committee will hear a bill that would increase the minimum biofuel content in gasoline to 15%.

Frentz said there are other pushes toward clean energy as well.

“I’m glad to support the biofuels mandate that would allow our farmers to continue producing corn and soybeans that would be blended into fuel. This would support the price of those crops and also reduce emissions, something most people like,” he said.

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