Minnesota accepting applications for Governor’s Biofuels Council

By Matt Thompson | October 03, 2019

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is seeking applicants for his newly formed Governor’s Biofuels Council. A release from the governor’s office said applications for the 15-seat council are now open. Members of the council will be “representatives of agriculture, biofuels and transportation industries, as well as environmental and conservation groups” the release said.

“The Governor’s Biofuels Council demonstrates our commitment to supporting the agriculture and biofuels industries and seizing the opportunity to move Minnesota toward a cleaner, greener transportations sector,” Walz said in the release. “I encourage Minnesotans in every corner of the state to apply and share their expertise on this critical issue.”

The council was established in September when the governor signed Executive Order 19-35. The goal of the council is to advise Gov. Walz and his cabinet on the expansion of biofuels in the state, how to increase the carbon efficiency of biofuels, and how best to implement biofuels to meet the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A report from the council is due in November 2020.

According to the executive order, the state has fallen behind in meeting its goal of replacing 30 percent of the its petroleum with biofuels by 2025. “In recent years, a combination of low market prices and changes in federal policy has been a headwind to growth in biofuels, particularly in the commercialization of advanced biofuels,” Walz said in the executive order. “In order to make progress we need ideas for policy and investment in biofuels development and utilization that are bold, practical and broadly supported by a range of interests.”

The order also says the creation of the council was spurred, in part, by EPA’s issuance of small refinery exemptions. “The need for leadership by Minnesota and other states has never been so great, given the lack of leadership and counterproductive policies at the national level, including the large number of small-refinery exemptions from biofuels blending granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the rollback of vehicle fuel economy standards,” the executive order said.

Applications for the Governor’s Biofuels Council can be submitted here.