Minnesota leaders celebrate biodiesel milestone
What a difference 15 years of biodiesel makes. The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council hosted a gathering of people at the Minnesota Soybean office March 15 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the passing of Minnesota’s biodiesel mandate.
To add to the celebration, Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed March 15 Biodiesel Day in Minnesota.
“It’s really encouraging to see the governor and the state of Minnesota recognizing the value and benefits of biodiesel,” said Theresia Gillie, President of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. “Biodiesel has been a big winner for Minnesota farmers and renewable fuels, and we’re honored to receive this proclamation.”
Roughly 70 people showed up for the three-hour open house, which brought together farmers, biodiesel users, industry partners and biodiesel champions who helped lead the charge to the original B2 mandate in the state.
“Minnesota has been at the forefront of the biodiesel movement, and we hope to continue to lead the way in the future,” said Jim Willers, a Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council director. “Biodiesel has been a real boon to our economy, and proven to improve the environment.”
Biodiesel is America’s first advanced biofuel and adds an estimated 63 cents to a bushel of a soybeans; B10 (10 percent biodiesel) generates an estimated $1.65 billion each year in total output impact and provides more than 4,000 green jobs to Minnesota’s economy. The renewable fuel has also played a vital role in reducing the U.S.’s dependency on foreign oil.
Also during the open house, celebratory videos were played from Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, and several industry leaders.