Last week, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz released his budget proposal for Fiscal Years (FY) 2024 – 2025 and incorporated several important priorities for the bio-economy. But if you didn’t read all the way to page 63 of the agriculture recommendations, you may have missed this important sentence: “E15/Unleaded 88 appears to be on its way to becoming the ‘new normal’….”
It is undeniably true that we are well on our way to meeting an ethanol blend rate of 15 percent. According to recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Minnesota led the nation in 2021 with an ethanol consumption rate of 12.58 percent. Because ethanol cuts carbon emissions by nearly 50 percent compared to gasoline and is cheaper at the pump (E15 saves consumers an average of $0.10/gal), the higher we go, the higher the benefit to Minnesota’s environment and economy.
As this legislative session continues, the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association will be working to secure biofuel infrastructure investment and the removal of regulatory barriers for higher ethanol blends because certainty in agriculture markets, lower fuel prices, and cleaner air should be the “new normal” in Minnesota.