Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP): Minnesota Passes New Biodiesel Mandate
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2008
CONTACT: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)
Ben Lilliston, 612-870-3416,
Minnesota Passes New Biodiesel Mandate
Includes First US State Ban on Palm Oil
MINNEAPOLIS - May 15 - Minnesota recently passed legislation to increase the biodiesel content of
diesel fuel sold in the state from the current 2 percent to 20 percent, which is the highest
in the nation, by 2015.
IATP, together with Minnesota farm and environmental organizations, worked with legislators
to make sure that the mandate will not only support the biodiesel industry, but
will also specifically benefit Minnesota’s economy and environment, and help us move
towards the next generation of biofuels.
“While the merits of mandates are debatable, if they are going to be put in place, they
must incorporate provisions to ensure that Minnesota’s farmers, economy and environment
are the beneficiaries—and not just a few multinational processors,” said Jim
Kleinschmit, director of the Rural Communities Program at the Institute for Agriculture
and Trade Policy.
In particular the legislation included:
• A first-in-the-country palm oil ban. Virgin palm oil cannot be used to produce biodiesel
to meet the mandate, which will help assure that Minnesota does not contribute to
environmental destruction and rainforest clearing associated with palm oil production.
• Focus on Minnesota and Midwest production. The increasing levels of biodiesel
content can only go into effect if Minnesota is producing at least 50 percent of the mandated
production level in-state from feedstocks produced in the U.S. and Canada, assuring
that this market share will benefit Minnesota farmers and biodiesel producers.
• Opening the door for the next generation. Five percent of the mandate needs to
be met with biodiesel produced from alternative feedstocks (waste oil, algae, etc.), which
will help diversify biodiesel production and shift away from food and feed crops.
• Assessing the costs and benefits. Reports to the legislature are required annually
on price and supply of biodiesel, as well as the impacts of the mandate on the Minnesota
biodiesel industry and the use of Minnesota crops and materials used for biodiesel
For the text of the bill, go here
IATP works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair
and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.