Crop Biotech Update

Minnesota Increases Biodiesel Mandate and Makes First State Ban on Palm Oil Use

May 30, 2008
The state of Minnesota in the United States recently passed legislation raising the biodiesel blend (in regular diesel) from the present 2% to 20% by the year 2015. (Minnesota was the first American state to mandate the use of biodiesel). The new legislation also includes the first ever state ban on the use of virgin palm oil for biodiesel production. This provision was made in order to assure that “Minnesota does not contribute to environmental destruction and rainforest clearing associated with palm oil production”. (Biodiesel production in the state is mainly soyabean-oil-based). Other provisions of the bill include the gradual use of alternative biodiesel feedstocks such as waste oil or algae (this will eventually lead to a shift toward the use of non-food based feedstocks), and an annual assessment of costs and benefits..