States Gearing Up Biofuel Use

Several states have taken steps recently to increase biofuel use.

  • Minnesota: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Tuesday signed legislation on May 13 that increases the state’s 2 percent biodiesel mandate to 20 percent by 2015, according to information on the governor’s Web site.

    Under the legislation, the current 2 percent biodiesel mandate will increase to 5 percent on May 1, 2009; to 10 percent on May 1, 2012; and to 20 percent on May 1, 2015. According to the National Biodiesel Board, the increases are not automatic, but have built-in flexibility, which includes an approval process before moving to higher blends.

    The legislation fosters the use of non-traditional feedstocks to fulfill the mandate by requiring that 5 percent of the feedstock come from non-traditional state agricultural resources. That includes algae, waste oils, and tallow, as well as other future feedstocks being researched in the state, such as industrial hazelnuts.

  • Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence (OEI) is soliciting applications from interested fuel retailers to site E85 retail refueling outlets on or near the major interstate/highway routes and fleet users in Wisconsin. These fuel retailers will be awarded 50 percent of the cost of installation, up to $5,000 per site.

    Currently, Wisconsin has 102 E85 fueling locations throughout the state; the third most facilities behind Minnesota and Illinois.

     

  • Indiana: The Indiana State Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the E85 Fueling Station Grant Program. Nearly $1 million in state money is available to assist in the installation of E85 pumps, and funds available have increased from a maximum of $5,000 to $20,000 per pump location.

    Cities and towns are now eligible to apply, as well as commercial refueling facilities, counties, and townships.

     

  • Iowa: A bill signed May 12 by Iowa Gov. Chet Culver will give gas station owners new incentives to sell renewable fuels.

    According to the Quad City Times, the bill rewrites an existing grant program that reduces financial risk for gas stations that agree to sell E85 or biodiesel. The new bill increases the reimbursement for gas station owners installing the pumps from a maximum of 50 percent and $30,000, to a maximum of 70 percent and $50,000. To receive the maximum reimbursement, owners must agree to sell the fuel for five years. Under the new bill, the grant program also can be used for blender pumps which allow customers to select the ethanol level.

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