Currently, all gasoline in Minnesota is blended with 10 percent biofuel, which is exclusively ethanol - commonly referred to as “E10.” Up until the regular session of 2013, Minnesota Statutes §239.791, subdivision 1a, stated all gasoline sold or offered for sale in the state of Minnesota must contain 20 percent ethanol by August 30, 2013. Minnesota could have met that mandate either by increasing its sales of E85 and other midlevel blends, or by increasing the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline to 20 percent (E20). We are currently unable to achieve that level of ethanol in the fuel supply through E85 and midlevel blend sales alone. To meet that requirement of selling all fuel in Minnesota as E20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also would need to grant a waiver to the Clean Air Act, certifying E20 as a legal fuel. A waiver application must be submitted by industry that contains data demonstrating that E20 will not cause more pollution than gasoline and will not adversely affect engines or fuel and emissions control systems. Preliminary state and federal-level studies indicated that the use of E20 fuels does not present problems for current automotive or fuel dispensing equipment. However, much federal-level research is ongoing and must be completed before a waiver application could be submitted. The 2011 report mirrored the ongoing study of E20 as a motor fuel as was directed by statute at that time.
In the regular legislative session of 2013, a new biofuel mandate was passed (M.S. §239.791) as well as amended petroleum replacement goals (M.S. 239.7911). In 2011, the U.S. EPA approved the use of E15 for use in light duty vehicles 2001 and newer. See the page on petroleum replacement goals above for more information.
Minnesota Laws 2005, Chapter 52, Section 4
The commissioner of agriculture, in consultation with the commissioners of employment and economic development and the Pollution Control Agency, shall review the information and data collected in the evaluation of any federal waiver request for the use of E20 fuel in Minnesota. The commissioner shall use existing budgetary and staff resources in conducting the review. The review must include:
The commissioner shall present an initial report to the legislative committees having jurisdiction over agriculture and environment policy and finance on the findings of the review to the legislature by January 15, 2009, and present an updated report to those committees on January 15, 2011.