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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE February 10, 2021

Governor Asks President Biden to take Steps to Protect the Future of the States’ Biofuels Industry

Minnesota Governor says a once Flourishing Industry is in Jeopardy

Today, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz sent a letter to President Biden asking him to take two administrative steps to ensure the future of the states’ biofuels community. Governor Walz is the chair of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition. 

“The growth of the ethanol industry over the past 20 years has made it an economic cornerstone of many Midwestern states. But the once flourishing industry is now in jeopardy, threatened by trade wars, a litigious petroleum industry, and shrinking demand caused by the pandemic,” Walz wrote.  

Governor Walz warned that “technology advances, which will significantly benefit the nation overall, could have a devastating impact on the ethanol industry and the rural communities it supports without a planned, balanced transition.” The governor proposed two administrative actions to ease that transition.

Issue an Executive Order Banning the Use of Aromatics in Gasoline

Such an order, enforcing a largely ignored provision in the Clean Air Act, would “benefit public health, the environment, and the biofuels industry,” he stated.  The governor pointed out that “reducing aromatics would lessen the fine particulate emissions associated with respiratory diseases.”  The substitution of cleaner octane additives for aromatics would “expand the market for ethanol by a projected twofold increase,” according to the governor, boosting jobs and the economy in rural America.

Adopt New Renewable Fuel Standard Regulations

Walz recognizes the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as “one of Congress’s most significant energy policy accomplishments,” but cautioned that its regulations, particularly the waiver provision, have been manipulated and distorted “to keep the RFS from meeting its full potential,” and abuses by billion-dollar companies have instead “severely damaged the nation’s biofuels industry.”

Governor Walz wrote that he has “seen firsthand how the ethanol industry has transformed and revived rural communities and contributed to the fight against climate change.”  But today he sees those communities and the ethanol industry as “endangered.”  He believes the “proposed executive actions would provide much needed stability in rural America and provide countless benefits to all Americans.”

Contacts:

  • Larry Pearce (Coalition) 402-651-2948
  • Margaret Hart (Walz) 651-201-6131

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.