Minnesota, May 18, 2005 (ENS): Minnesota Governor
Tim Pawlenty has signed into law a measure that will
double the amount of ethanol in gasoline in Minnesota.
"This bill strengthens our rural economy, improves
our air quality and reduces our unhealthy dependence
on foreign oil," said Governor Pawlenty, a Republican.
"It also puts our state at the leading edge of
a very promising industry. We truly are on our way to
becoming the Saudi Arabia of renewable fuels."
Currently, a Minnesota law enacted in 1997 requires
all gasoline sold within the state to include 10 percent
Under the legislation signed by the Governor last week,
a new E-20 mandate would take effect in 2013 unless
ethanol has already replaced 20 percent of the state's
motor vehicle fuel by 2010.
Increasing to a 20 percent blend could mean an economic
impact of $1.58 billion and 6,157 jobs, Minnesota officials
"Utilizing homegrown renewable fuels is good for
our farmers, it's good for rural economic development,
it's good for national security, and it's good for the
environment," said Pawlenty. "I would much
rather have the fuel in our cars come from the Midwest
than from the Middle East."
Pawlenty points out that in Brazil, about 15 percent
vehicles use a blend of gasoline that contains nearly
100 percent ethanol. The remaining vehicles use blends
of 24 percent ethanol with 76 percent gasoline. "These
cars are manufactured by many of the same major automobile
companies who manufacture cars for use in the United
States," he said.
A research report from the Minnesota Center for Automotive
Research at Minnesota State University-Mankato showed
that there were no drivability or material compatibility
problems experienced by 15 vehicles of various years,
makes and models using E-30.
Minnesota has North America's largest network of E-85
gas stations with about 130 stations now online. Some
120,000 Minnesotans now drive flexible fuel cars designed
to burn either gasoline or E-85, a blend of 85 percent
ethyl alcohol and 15 percent gasoline.
E-85 is produced from the starch in agricultural products,
primarily domestically produced corn. Growing corn removes
CO2 from the atmosphere so that the total effect of
using ethanol made from corn is a reduction in greenhouse
emissions when compared to the use of petroleum fuels.
Minnesota already has the highest renewable fuel use
per capita in the nation. Minnesota was the first state
to require the use of ethanol in gasoline. Other states
are beginning to follow suit.
Last year Hawaii enacted a measure similar to Minnesota's
mandate. The Governor of Montana signed their new E-10
requirement into law last Friday. Through his leadership
as chairman of the Governors' Ethanol Coalition, Pawlenty
is encouraging other states to join the movement.
"This legislation is a win for everybody,"
Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Gene Sandager
said. "By increasing demand for ethanol, local
farmers now have a larger market for what they produce
right here in Minnesota. That's good for the entire
The ethanol industry provides jobs for more than 5,300
Minnesotans and pumps $1.3 billion dollars into Minnesota's
economy. There are 14 ethanol plants in Minnesota that
produce more than 450 million gallons of ethanol every
year, with two more plants currently under construction.
Minnesota ranks fourth in the nation in production of
fuel-grade ethanol, after Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska.
Minnesota corn growers send approximately 15 percent
of their crop to ethanol plants.