Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner, Thom Peterson, visited the Granite Falls Energy plant on Nov 22 to gain a better understanding of the ethanol industry’s efforts in lowering its carbon footprint and its role in helping the state achieve its emission reduction goals.
“Our industry plays a vital role in strengthening Minnesota’s economy and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. During the commissioners tour of our plant, we briefed him on our efforts to achieving a net-zero carbon footprint, providing high-tech jobs and continuing our commitment to Minnesota’s agriculture industry,” said Jeff Oestmann, CEO of Granite Falls Energy.
He said Peterson was briefed on measures that can be taken to increase ethanol usage in Minnesota such as utilizing federal funding to increase biofuel infrastructure, require state fleet vehicles to use E15 or E85 (in the case of flex-fuel vehicles) and advance a clean fuel standard that would provide ethanol with a proper carbon credit using the GREET model.
Additionally, Oestmann said the commissioner was briefed on some of the challenges facing Minnesota’s ethanol industry such as a potential reid vapor pressure (RVP) ban on E15 in the summer months of 2022.
Rep. Tim Miller, who represents Minnesota House District 17A (which includes Granite Falls), participated in the commissioner’s tour of the plant. Granite Falls Energy board members were also present for Peterson’s visit.
Granite Falls Energy is a member of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association. It began operations in 2005 and currently produces 70 million gallons of ethanol a year.