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Soybean growers support B10 recommendation

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) has voiced support for a recommendation by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to move the state to a 10 percent biodiesel inclusion rate in every gallon of diesel sold in Minnesota. The notice appeared in the September 30 edition of the Minnesota State Register.

“Biodiesel has been shown to be great for the environment and the economy,” said George Goblish, MSGA president. “It’s common sense to keep moving forward with biodiesel because it has been proven to work. It’s a win for air quality, a win for consumers, a win for the industry and a win for agriculture.”

Currently, every gallon of diesel fuel sold in Minnesota contains a blend of 5 percent biodiesel (B5), made primarily from soybean oil. The move to 10 percent (B10) is written into a statute passed in 2007, provided all necessary criteria have been met.

Since the criteria have been met, MDA is recommending the state move forward with its commitment to B10. The higher blends would only be available during summer months.

Minnesota has three biodiesel production facilities producing more than 60 million gallons of biodiesel each year. Overall, the industry supports more than 5,000 jobs and provides substantial revenue to the state.

About 800 million gallons of diesel are used in Minnesota each year. Minnesota’s current B5 inclusion has been shown to reduce emissions equal to removing nearly 35,000 vehicles from the road. Use of B5 in Minnesota removes 644 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

Expanding Minnesota’s biodiesel percentage to B10 would further reduce harmful air emissions. Metro Transit buses in the Twin Cities area recently started running on a blend of 20 percent (B20) biodiesel.

Biodiesel is recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the nation’s only advanced biofuel. An advanced biofuel is a renewable fuel that has lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions that are at least 50 percent less than the greenhouse gas emissions from average petroleum.

Biodiesel also boasts a strong energy balance. For each unit of energy required to produce it, biodiesel returns 5.5 units.

“Biodiesel has been used in Minnesota for more than a decade, and the state leads the nation in biofuel acceptance,” Goblish added. “Moving to B10 means cleaner air, more jobs and greater energy diversity. Whether you drive a diesel vehicle or use mass transit, this change is good for all Minnesota.”

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