Say yes to biofuels, no to unfair mandates
I own and operate Land O’Lakes Oil and Propane in Kimball – providing fuels in this community for 92 years – and I am writing to you today to let you know more about how an E15 mandate would hurt my business and hundreds of other retailers. I am supportive of biofuels and I would love to sell more, but the current ideas circulating in St. Paul are harmful and unachievable.
An E15 mandate will force fueling stations to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on essential infrastructure replacement with money they do not have, and within a timetable that is unachievable. To sell higher ethanol blended fuels, retailers are required by law to have compatible Underground Storage Tank systems (USTs). The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which regulates USTs, estimates that more than 85% of current facilities are not compatible with E15. The estimated cost to upgrade these facilities is more than $784 million or an average $590,000 per site. On top of that, the industry which replaces infrastructure has limited capacity. It would take 10 years to replace retailers’ systems throughout the state.
Retailers will have to choose to either spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on upgrades, break federal EPA laws, or close their businesses. This is not a fair proposal – especially for those of us that want to sell more biofuels as the market grows. I sell E10 now and will sell E15 in the future. I’m certainly not against E15, but I am against a mandate. This is because I supply many rural stations and I worry about how this proposal will affect them. A significant majority of rural stations are not compatible with E15. It will take time and money to update them.
Please join me in asking our local elected officials, state -Representative Lisa Demuth and state Senator Jeff Howe, to stop this unachievable mandate. We need their support so lawmakers in Saint Paul abandon this unfair mandate idea for good before it’s too late for businesses like mine.
Glenn Winter, President,
Land O’Lakes Oil and Propane