Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan recently announced the appointments of 15 members to the new Governor’s Council on Biofuels.
Walz established the council by executive order to recommend proposals to foster growth in the biofuels industry and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Serving on the council through April 2023 are Gary Anderson, Eagan; Michael Bull, Northfield Township; John Christianson, Lake Lillian; Elizabeth Crow, Minneapolis; Tim Gross, Duluth; Chris Hanson, Fountain; Rick Horton, Grand Rapids; Kevin Lee, Minneapolis; Lance Klatt, Little Canada; Jeanne MaCaherty, Prior Lake; Mick Miller, Morris; Kevin Paap, Lake Crystal; Brian Thalmann, Pluto; Gary Wertish, Renville; and Bob Worth, Lake Benton.
“It is my honor to appoint leaders in agriculture from across the state to the Governor’s Council on Biofuels,” says Walz, who also chairs the National Governors’ Biofuels Coalition. “Their leadership will be instrumental in supporting our friends and neighbors in the ag and biofuels industries through what has been an incredibly challenging year. I look forward to the council’s guidance in our efforts to move Minnesota toward a cleaner, greener transportation sector.”
In additional efforts to support biofuels, Walz and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem recently sent a joint letter to President Donald Trump asking him to enforce Section 202 of the Clean Air Act that requires the reduction and elimination of toxic carcinogenic aromatics from gasoline.
Section 202 was included in the Clean Air Act amendments passed by Congress in 1990, directing the EPA to reduce chemical additives in gasoline. This amendment has yet to be enforced, despite the development of a variety of cost-effective substitutes including high-octane biofuels.
“President Trump should order EPA to obey Congress’s long-neglected directive to reduce the toxic compounds in gasoline. By replacing aromatics with cleaner alternatives, the nation will be on the right path to cleaner-burning, less costly fuel. Any other approach is the wrong policy for America,” the governors wrote in their letter.
The primary benefits of eliminating gasoline aromatics are reducing pollution and increasing health outcomes. Aromatics are the primary source of carcinogenic air toxins like benzene, as well as fine and ultrafine particulates, which have been shown to be major contributors to asthma and other respiratory, cardiovascular, and brain diseases, as well as many cancers. This is an especially persistent risk for Americans living near congested roadways and those who use cars to commute, for whom these particulates are unavoidable.
The governors said that since there is an available replacement, “it’s time for the Trump administration to follow the law and give Americans less toxic gasoline and the benefit of sustained, lower gasoline prices by replacing aromatics with biofuels.”