Ethanol Update: Big month for biofuels in Minnesota

It’s been a while since we did an Ethanol Update, so let’s get right to it. This week’s update includes information on a USDA biofuels grant, Coborn’s, new RFS TV ads and President Obama.

As you’ll see, it’s been a good month for homegrown biofuels here in Minnesota. The number of flex-fuel pumps out there is expanding and a USDA grant will help us install even more at stations throughout the state.

In case you missed it…
USDA announced state-by-state dollar amounts last week for Biofuels Infrastructure Program grants. Minnesota received $8 million, which will be matched using funds provided by a broad coalition that includes the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC). Full details on the grant are here.

Ethanol fuel discounts at Coborn’s
The Minnesota Corn Growers are teaming with Coborn’s and other partners next week to offer big savings on ethanol fuel blends like E15, E30 and E85. Coborn’s and Little Duke’s locations in Hastings, Belle Plaine, New Prague, Princeton, Pipestone and St. Cloud are participating. Full details on each event are here.

Obama’s choice
Fuels America has a new television ad out about the choice President Obama faces on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Listen to lying oil companies who want to squash the use of homegrown renewable fuels or his own experts and scientists who have long touted the benefits of ethanol fuels to air quality and the environment. The ad can be viewed here.

One final RFS push
Speaking of the RFS, final Renewable Volume Obligation numbers were submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Office of Management and Budget late last week. That means we need to make one final push to let President Obama, EPA administrator Gina McCarthy and others know about the importance of the RFS to the environment, our fuel tanks, corn farmers and rural America.

If you’re on social media, consider sending Tweets to president Obama (@POTUS) or administrator McCarthy (@GinaEPA). Sample tweets include:

.@POTUS the #RFS has significantly reduced CO2 emissions. Listen to rural America! The #RFSworks Protect farmers. Protect rural America. Protect the economy. Tell @POTUS that the #RFSworks #RuralVotesMatter

Administrator @GinaEPA, “Tear down this blend wall!” #RFSworks #RuralVotesMatter

.@POTUS Corn ethanol has cut greenhouse gas emissions up to 50% compared to gasoline. Tell @EPA follow the law! #RFSworks

Obama, Big Oil and the RFS
This is a disturbing story out of the Oct. 29 Huffington Post. Turns out, many of president Obama’s advisors who recommended slashing the RFS have left the administration for jobs that have heavy ties to the oil industry. The ball got rolling on the RFS cuts after a phone call from congressman Robert Brady to vice president Joe Biden about helping out two struggling oil refineries in Brady’s district.

The full story is well worth your time. Give it a read.

Where to find higher ethanol blends
If you’re wondering where you can fill up with E15, E85 or other higher ethanol blends, go to for a map and list of stations. You can also download the Minnesota Biofuels Association station locator app.

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