ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton has declared today, Friday, September 16, 2016, as Ethanol Day in Minnesota
to highlight the environmental and economic benefits of ethanol fuel. Today also marks the first day since May 31, 2016 that E15 may be sold and used in vehicles model year 2001 and newer per the EPA’s current summer fuel vapor pressure regulations.
“Ethanol is very important to Minnesota's agriculture and energy economies. It reduces our dependency on foreign oil, while strengthening the economies of communities across our state. It also is more environmentally friendly than traditional fossil fuels,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “I am proud to proclaim ‘Ethanol Day’ in Minnesota, highlighting what an important resource it is for our state and our country.”
Earlier this week, Governor Dayton joined six other Midwestern governors in sending a letter
to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy stating their support for “eliminating unnecessary regulatory barriers, strengthening the free market, and expanding consumer choice by increasing access to E15 and higher ethanol blends,” specifically by extending the summer waiver originally granted for E10 to all gasoline/ethanol blends greater than 10 percent. The summer regulation unnecessarily restricts the sale of higher blends, including E15.
“Minnesota’s ethanol industry generates nearly $5 billion for the state economy, while supporting over 18,000 jobs across the state,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “Ethanol is a critical tool in Minnesota’s energy and economic development toolbox. Governor Dayton and I are committed to supporting the development of this homegrown Minnesota energy.”
Over the past three years, the number of stations providing E15 has been increasing, thanks to the efforts of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). In partnership with stakeholder groups and grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more Minnesota service stations have been able to install equipment compatible with the higher ethanol blends, which includes E15 for the first time. This October will mark the third anniversary of the first station offering E15 in the state.
“Ethanol is not a new concept,” said Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “The MDA has a 30 year history of supporting the ethanol industry by recognizing its multiple benefits to the state and to the nation. It reduces our dependence on foreign oil, it adds value to our corn production, it provides cleaner air, and it supports rural economic development.”
Currently, Minnesota has 44 stations offering E15 gasoline. Minnesota also continues to lead the nation in stations offering E85 with 316 retailers offering the 85 percent blend to flex fuel vehicle drivers.