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New Minnesota Corn president takes E15 torch

The new president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association is taking the torch to get a state E15 standard across the finish line.

Tim Waibel, who farms near Courtland in south-central Minnesota, says he’s very passionate about ethanol.

“And the reason I feel so strongly about (ethanol) is the fact that we don’t have any oil production in Minnesota, but we do have ethanol production. In ethanol, we know we can fuel our cars at 85 percent ethanol blend, and the vehicles that are registered for that usage, we know it works well. That’s a big issue with me.”

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would require fuel retailers to increase the ethanol in most gasoline sold in Minnesota from 10 percent currently to 15 percent.

Waibel has ownership in a nearby ethanol plant and tells Brownfield he’s keenly aware of how COVID-19 has hurt the industry.

“Just because of the pandemic slowing down the usage of ethanol, and in turn slowing down (production) at our ethanol facilities. So that was a big deal, and certainly something that nobody could’ve ever predicted.”

Waibel says the biofuels sector has done the best it can given the circumstances and most ethanol plants have returned to profitable margins.

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