Promoting the Use of Low Carbon Fuels

Just as in many other states, Minnesota's transportation sector is a significant source of global warming pollution - about one quarter of the state's total emissions. The Midwest Office is advancing a Minnesota Low Carbon Fuels Policy that would reduce the global warming impact from this sector by cleaning up transportation fuels. A Low Carbon Fuel Policy takes a big picture look at all transportation fuels and accounts for the global warming emissions associated with every aspect of a fuel's development, from well-to-wheels. This life cycle accounting acknowledges that different fuels have different global warming emissions depending on how they are grown or extracted, transported, processed and ultimately used in a vehicle. The policy requires producers, refiners and blenders to reduce the life cycle carbon intensity of fuels over the next decade.

Refiners of gasoline can help meet requirements by improving the efficiency of their fuel production processes and exploring cleaner feedstock options. Ethanol and biodiesel producers can also deliver lower carbon transportation fuels. Innovative biofuel producers with the lowest carbon content fuel will be rewarded with an increasing share of the fuel market. Electric and natural gas vehicles could also contribute to meeting lower carbon fuel requirements.

Advancing cleaner transportation fuels will spur investments in clean energy technologies within Minnesota, create jobs in rural communities, diversify the state's transportation fuels and reduce global warming pollution from fuels we use in our vehicles. A Low Carbon Fuel Policy is also being developed by the Midwest Governor's Association and a coalition of 11 Northeast states. Establishing a Minnesota policy will provide an alternative and needed Midwestern example for potential, future national low carbon fuels policies.

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