ST. PAUL, Minn. — After years of starts and stops, the next frontier has finally arrived for biodiesel.
Currently, state law requires every gallon of diesel fuel to contain at least 5 percent biodiesel — and 2 percent during the winter — so supporters are excited to see Minnesota raise the bar to a highest-in-the-nation level.
Biodiesel is most often made from soybean oil, which Minnesota has in abundance as the nation’s No. 3 soybean state. Traditional diesel fuel is made from petroleum, which Minnesota does not produce.
But the change has its critics.
“We will be alone in the nation with a 10 percent mandate,” said John Hausladen, president of the Minnesota Trucking Association. “We believe that the biodiesel industry is mature and can stand on its own. It does not need a mandate now, and it’s time to phase out the mandate, not increase it.”
The Legislature changed the mandate again. The 10 percent blend level will drop to 5 percent on Oct. 1, not Oct. 31. And the B-20 mandate will be delayed for three additional years, until 2018.