By Timothy J. Rudnicki, Esq
Telephone calls and email messages to Minnesota legislators from supporters of ethanol, energy independence, consumer savings at the pump and environmental benefits are helping to move a bill at the legislature. As was reported to you in the last newsletter, some 300, or approximately 10 percent, of fuel retailers in Minnesota could be partnered with under the first phase of the E15 Dispenser bill if it is fully funded. When those fuel retailers begin offering E15 and displacing more carbon intensive finite fossil fuel, Minnesotans will make even more progress in fulfilling the Minnesota petroleum replacement law as well as statewide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Minnesota House File 1904 and Senate File 1912 are now in the next to last phase of the legislative process. In the next few days, a Conference Committee will be named to work out the difference in a tax bill which includes provisions and funding to help fuel retailers make E15 available to thousands more Minnesotans. Some of the benefits to Minnesotans by having E15 broadly available include reducing annual carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 358,000 metric tons (equivalent to removing 75,368 passenger vehicles form Minnesota's roads for a year). And under the E15 Dispenser bill pilot project, consumers stand to save between $7.6 million to $10.9 million at the pump as E15 is generally priced 7 to 10 cents lower than regular unleaded gasoline.
The House and Senate Conferees who will determine whether the E15 Dispenser bill moves forward are expected to be named within the next few days. We will continue to track and monitor the progress of the bill. Once the Conferees are named, the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association will make an announcement. You will be able to use that information to contact Conferees and remind them about your support for the provisions needed to make more E15 available to consumers across Minnesota.