MANKATO – Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) President Bob Worth and Minnesota Biodiesel Council Executive Director Mike Youngerberg 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 the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council. “We’ve been at this since B2 (2% 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,” Worth said. “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 (CTS), 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 Pollution Control Agency. The first work group meeting takes place Monday, July 31. The coalition will develop recommendations for structuring a CTS by Feb. 1, 2024.
Beyond its myriad economic benefits, which help generate nearly $1.7 billion in economic activities throughout Minnesota, biodiesel helps protect the environment and clean Minnesota’s air. Studies show that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% and displaces roughly 130 million gallons of petroleum diesel in Minnesota each year. Using a B20 (20% 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.
About the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association MSGA is a nonpartisan, farmer-led advocacy organization established in 1962. The organization represents the interests of Minnesota’s nearly 28,000 soybean farmers. MSGA’s goal is to ensure profitable soybean farming by influencing favorable farm legislation, monitoring government policies and supporting research and market development activities.