Minnesota’s biodiesel advocates have had May 1, 2018 circled on their calendar for a long time. After all, it’s not every day a state officially enacts a move to a B20 (20 percent biodiesel) minimum blending requirement.
Some naysayers doubted if the B20 launch day would ever arrive. But breathe easy, Minnesota. The wait is over.
“We’ve come a long way since the days of B2. We had some early bumps in the road, but we worked through them, and I couldn’t be prouder of this organization,” says Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Director Bob Worth, who was the organization’s president in 2005 when B2 was implemented. “This is a big moment for everyone involved in Minnesota agriculture who helped make biodiesel a reality in Minnesota.”
To celebrate the long-awaited move to B20, the Minnesota Soybean team traversed the state in biodiesel powered trucks to promote the homegrown, renewable fuel and its benefits. Five diesel trucks covered more than 1,500 miles and dozens of biodiesel vehicles received free tanks of biodiesel, a ‘May Day’ gift basket and a Minnesota biodiesel history lesson, courtesy of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council.
May 1 was also highlighted by the Minnesota debut of the new biodiesel truck built by the DieselSellerz, stars of Discovery’s “Diesel Brothers” reality show. The truck will be making appearances throughout the state in 2018, and is expected to air across multiple episodes of the upcoming season of “Diesel Brothers.” These episodes will showcase Minnesota’s biodiesel industry and soybean farmers on a national stage.
Minnesota has been a leader in biodiesel since B2 was implemented in 2005. Today, biodiesel contributes $1.7 billion to the state’s economic impact, adds 5,400 jobs to the state and increases demand for soybeans by 13 percent. Biodiesel is the only Advanced Biofuel recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency; as B20 goes into effect during the summer months, the use will equate to removing the emissions from 202,000 vehicles from Minnesota roads.
Minnesota Soybean’s CEO Tom Slunecka says Minnesota’s biodiesel success story wouldn’t have been possible without the cohesion between MSGA, which handled the policy side of protecting the statue in St. Paul, and MSR&PC, which marketed, promoted and highlighted the many ways biodiesel works for all Minnesotans.
“This is a landmark day for Minnesota soybean farmers, the state’s economy and environment, and the biodiesel industry,” Slunecka says. “It was a total team effort – MSGA and MSR&PC worked hand-in-hand throughout this process to ensure a smooth transition. Ultimately, moving to B20 will continue to increase the profitability of soybean farmers.”