Soybean leaders to ‘push hard for biodiesel’ in group developing Minnesota clean fuel standard
Bob Worth, president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, and Mike Youngerberg, executive director of the Minnesota Biodiesel Council, have been appointed to the new Clean Transportation Fuel Standard Work Group.
In their respective roles, Worth and Youngerberg will advocate for the sizable contributions Minnesota agriculture and biodiesel make in cutting carbon.
“I’ll be working to assure that the policies that are developed fit Minnesota’s climate goals,” said Youngerberg, a longtime biodiesel industry leader who also serves as senior director of product development and commercialization for Minnesota Soybean. “We’ve been at this since B2 (2 percent biodiesel), and there are certainly avenues that fit California that don’t fit Minnesota. We want to make sure that all the voices around the table understand the situation.”
The group, which was established as part of the transportation budget during the 2023 legislative session, comprises biofuels leaders, automakers, electric-vehicle (EV) manufacturers and charging providers, and clean-energy and conservation advocates.
“We need a farmer voice on that group to push for our own fuel that we raise and make sure they’re not jumping right into electric cars too quickly,” said Worth, who farms in Lake Benton, Minnesota. “We’re going to push pretty hard for biodiesel.”
The Clean Transportation Fuel Standard Work Group is tasked with preparing recommendations for implementing a Clean Transportation Standard, including development of performance-based incentives to reduce carbon pollution from all transportation fuels including gasoline, diesel, biofuels and electricity.
The working group will make recommendations on fuel pathways and determine impacts to jobs, fuel prices, rural and agricultural economic development and environmental justice for legislation during the 2024 legislative session to reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of all fuels used in transportation.
The working group will be jointly convened by the commissioners of agriculture, commerce, transportation and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The first work group meeting takes place July 31.
The group will develop recommendations for structuring a CTS by Feb. 1, 2024.
Aside from its myriad economic benefits, which help contribute nearly $1.7 billion toward Minnesota’s economy, biodiesel helps protect the environment and clean Minnesota’s air.
Studies show that biodiesel reduces greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 50 percent and displaces roughly 130 million gallons of petroleum diesel in Minnesota each year.
Using a B20 (20 percent biodiesel) blend in the summer and a B5 blend in the winter equates to removing the emissions from nearly a quarter-million vehicles from Minnesota roads every year.
“We’ve proven for over 20 years that biodiesel is a right-here, right-now solution for improving Minnesota’s environment,” Worth said.