Walz highlights biofuels infrastructure budget proposal

By Office of Gov. Tim Walz | April 12, 2021

On April 9, Gov. Tim Walz and supporters of Minnesota’s biofuels industry urged the passage of the Governor’s Biofuels Infrastructure Grant Program budget proposal in order to strengthen small businesses, support farmers, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Minnesota’s COVID-19 Recovery Budget, the Governor’s biennial budget proposal, includes an investment of $2 million per year to fund the Biofuels Infrastructure Grant Program to increase access to ethanol and biodiesel across the state. These grants would give service station owners across Minnesota funding to install the equipment needed to ramp up use of higher blends of biofuels, such as E15 (gas that is 15 percent ethanol), E30 (30 percent ethanol), and E80 (80 percent ethanol).

“Biofuels are critical to Minnesota, not just for helping us meet our climate goals, but to our agricultural and rural economies and the state’s economy as a whole. However, many gas stations don’t have the tanks, pumps, and other equipment needed to safely dispense E15 to consumers,” Walz said. “The biofuels infrastructure grants would help retailers make these upgrades, and in doing so, these grants support our farmers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Minnesota.”

Walz highlighted the proposal on April 9 at Holiday Stationstore #3829 in New Hope. Owner Chris Robbins received a state grant enabling him to upgrade his facility to offer E15, E30, and E85 fuels.

“E15 has been a huge success for our location,” said Robbins. “It is cheaper for consumers, it supports a home-grown, renewable resource and our Minnesota economy, it reduces our dependence on foreign oil, and it reduces harmful greenhouse gases.”

Conventional corn-starch ethanol can reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) by as much as 48 percent compared to gasoline; advanced biofuels made from feedstocks such as cellulose can reduce GHGs even more.

Minnesota’s ethanol industry generated $4.4 billion in revenue in 2020 and supports nearly 14,500 jobs – including an estimated 3,600 jobs in agriculture and 3,900 jobs indirectly supported in the corn production supply chain.