Minnesota Doubles Ethanol Requirement to Twenty Percent Blend
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed into law on May 10 a bill that will double the amount of ethanol used in gasoline throughout the state. Currently, Minnesota law requires all gasoline sold within the state to include 10 percent ethanol. Under the new legislation, all gasoline sold within the state would have to include 20 percent ethanol by 2013. However, the new ethanol mandate will not take effect if ethanol has already replaced 20 percent of the state's motor vehicle fuel by 2010. See the governor's press release and the full text of the bill, Senate File Number 4.
U.S. production of ethanol fuel continues to grow, as the industry set a monthly production record of 245,000 barrels per day in February. Currently, 85 ethanol plants nationwide have the capacity to produce more than 3.8 billion gallons annually, and another 17 plants and three major expansions are under construction. The most recent addition is Iowa's 17 ethanol plant, which started production on May 17th near Steamboat Rock. On May 11, construction also started on the first large-scale ethanol fuel facility in Colorado. Sterling Ethanol, LLC is building a plant in northeast Colorado that will produce 42 million gallons of ethanol per year. Colorado's current major supplier of ethanol fuel is Coors, which reclaims about 1.2 million gallons of ethanol per year from waste beer at its brewery in Golden. See the Renewable Fuel Association's press releases on the production record, the new Iowa plant, and the Colorado plant, as well as its list of ethanol production facilities.