Much has changed in society over the last 20 years – we’re looking at you, smartphones – but Minnesota Soybean’s commitment to biodiesel remains steadfast.
Ron Kotrba, editor and publisher of Biobased Diesel, highlighted Minnesota Soybean’s relentless drive toward boosting biodiesel in the state in his recent editor’s note.
“Twenty years ago, Minnesota became a trailblazer in biodiesel policy by passing the first ever biodiesel mandate in 2002,” Kotrba wrote. “The accomplishment was the result of years of work by many groups, perhaps most notably the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the farmers of which the organization is comprised, and by which it is led.”
The U.S. biodiesel industry has proven its value by reducing the price at the pump by 4 percent and meeting more than 6% of the nation’s need for diesel fuel. In Minnesota, biodiesel displaces roughly 130 million gallons of petroleum diesel each year and ranks tenth among U.S. states in biodiesel production. It also contributes nearly $1.7 billion toward Minnesota’s GDP.
Furthermore, the U.S. biodiesel industry provides our nation with a sense of security when the world feels tempestuous.
“In this tumultuous time of energy insecurity, global-power realignment and the reemergence of the dangers associated with depending on hostile foreign governments for fuel. … It is comforting to know nations have the ability to grow, collect or recover renewable materials in perpetuity to satisfy a growing portion of their fuel requirements,” Kotrba wrote.
Despite its benefits, the biodiesel industry hasn’t escaped controversy. As Kotrba points out, there will always be naysayers but there is no denying the impact the industry is having.
“But while they think up ways to thwart your progress, the world’s farmers, livestock producers, renderers and grease collectors remain busy growing and recovering the food, feed and fuel our global society needs to keep moving forward,” Kotrba said.