Better Fuel Initiative supports a future of better transportation

By Minnesota Corn Growers Association | February 07, 2020

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association is building a future of better transportation fuels for all Minnesotans by launching the Better Fuel Initiative. The initiative will promote the adoption of state policies, raise awareness, drive research and increase infrastructure with the aim to meet environmental goals through the use of biofuels.

The Better Fuel Initiative builds on the momentum for biofuels in Minnesota. Stations offering E15, a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, have grown from just 14 in 2015 to more than 350 today. Minnesota drivers pumped more than 70 million gallons of E15 in 2019, which is more than triple the volume just two years prior. The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the use of E15 year-round for all vehicles 2001 or newer – nearly nine out of ten cars on the road today.

With more drivers choosing cleaner-burning E15 at the pump, the Better Fuel Initiative supports an increase in the existing biofuel standard of 10 percent to 15-percent biofuel

In addition to supporting policy, the Better Fuel Initiative will launch grassroots outreach efforts to further increase awareness around biofuels in Minnesota. The initiative will share information about the benefits of E15 with consumers while working with third party partners to highlight the advantages of cleaner-burning, higher-octane ethanol blends.

The Better Fuel Initiative will also further promote efforts to increase accessibility. MCGA and biofuel supporters have made major investments in ethanol infrastructure since 2015, helping fuel the aforementioned growth in retailers offering higher blends of ethanol, providing consumers with a better choice at the pump.

Increasing the use of biofuels provides significant benefits for all Minnesotans.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ethanol made from corn helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 39-43 percent compared to gasoline. An increase in the biofuel standard reduces the state’s reliance on petroleum while providing a higher-octane, lower-priced option at the pump that reduces tailpipe emissions. Increased usage of ethanol-blended fuels would also benefit Minnesota’s rural communities, strengthening a vital market for corn farmers while supporting the state’s ethanol industry.

Becoming the first state in the nation to set a higher biofuel standard would further cement Minnesota’s status as a national biofuels leader. Minnesota was the first state to require ethanol-blended fuels in 1997 to improve air quality, and continues to recognize the importance of biofuels as exemplified by the establishment of the Governor’s Council on Biofuels in September by Gov. Tim Walz.

“While transportation continues to be a leading source of harmful emissions, I am fortunate to be part of a state that recognizes biofuels as a solution bringing us closer to reaching our environmental goals,” MCGA President Les Anderson said. “The Better Fuel Initiative will unite biofuel advocates to take the necessary steps that bring a better transportation fuel to the forefront, benefitting all Minnesotans.”