What are Pawlenty’s Views on Biodiesel?

pawlenty.jpgThere are so many issues and so little time. Too often I have to rely on secondary sources to get my information. Such is the case with Governor Tim Pawlenty’s recent speech on his energy objectives in his second term.

I guess I could go to his website and download the podcast…if only I had an iPod. Maybe the Governor will give me one for Christmas. I’m sure there will be room in my stocking.

At any rate, the Strib editorial page called Pawlenty’s Next Generation Energy Initiative “a bold, balanced initiative on energy”. According to the Governor’s press release, the initiative “will result in more renewable energy, more energy conservation, and less carbon emissions for Minnesota”.

The Strib editorial praises the call for the utilities to reduce energy sales by 1.5% through assisting conservation efforts among customers. The 1.5% reduction matches the projected increase in usage and will reduce both costs and pollution.

According to the Strib, Pawlenty continues to pursue renewable fuels. For ethanol, he doesn’t seek to increase production but to expand availability. Most interesting of the proposals to the Strib was the governor’s call for state investment in production technologies for ethanol from grasses or wood.

Nowhere did I see any mention of biodiesel, but I’m just working off an editorial and a press release. I know that there are Minnesota farmers who grow “beans”; I think that oil from soy deserves further investigation, and investment.

2 thoughts on “What are Pawlenty’s Views on Biodiesel?”

  1. Hi Ross – when the Governor announced his NextGen Energy Initiative at the Midwest Ag Energy Summit, he also mentioned that he’d like to increase the current biodiesel blending requirement from 2% to 5%, but that he’d like to make sure we get through the winter without the kinds of problems many of us diesel owners experienced last winter. So, to answer your question, he’s a huge supporter of the biodiesel industry, and wants to make sure we get it right before we expand the blending requirement.

    Something to know… after the issues we had last winter with winter diesel, all three of Minnesota’s biodiesel plants became BQ-9000 certified, meaning they’ve gone through a rigorous quality control program, and have been certified for compliance. That took a huge commitment on the part of the plant owners/investors and I congratulate and thank them for that!

  2. Mike pretty well nailed the answer to your question. I can tell you that we have the in-state production capacity to increase the biodiesel mandate from 2% to 5% right now, but making sure any lingering quality control issues are addressed first is a good idea, in my opinion. We at the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest are big supporters of biodiesel and E85 as cleaner-burning alternatives many vehicles can use now.

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