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Biodiesel Mandate Lawsuit

Posted By John Hausladen , Friday, May 1, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Minnesota Trucking Association has joined a coalition of vehicle and fuelindustry organizations to file suit in federal court alleging that Minnesota’s Biodiesel mandate creates significant harm to vehicles that are not designed to be run using such fuel blends.

 

We further allege that biodiesel raises the cost for all diesel vehicles, including heavy trucks.

 

Our goal in filing the litigation is simple: eliminate the mandate.

 

This is an unprecedented move for the MTA and comes only after repeated unsuccessful attempts to address our concerns through the legislative process.

 

As you well know, the mandate—which went into effect on July 1, 2014— requires all diesel fuel sold in Minnesota during the spring and summer months (April through September) contain at least 10 percent biodiesel (B10). Starting in 2018, if certain conditions are met, all diesel fuel sold in the state during those same months must contain at least 20 percent biodiesel (B20).

 

The mandate denies consumers in Minnesota access to the diesel fuel recommended for most diesel passenger vehicles and light trucks (up to B5).

 

We are joined in the lawsuit by the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, American Petroleum Institute, and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers.

 

Together we are suing Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency and Departments of Agriculture and Commerce with claims under federal and Minnesota state laws including the Clean Air Act and Minnesota Administrative Procedures Act.

 

I want to thank MTA Chair Kyle Kottke for providing a declaration for our filing, which helps us make the case for standing to bring forward this lawsuit.

 

In filing the lawsuit, the coalition issued the following joint statement:

 

“Given that the average age of a motor vehicle in Minnesota is 11.2 years, the State’s Biodiesel Content Mandate causes significant risk of harm to consumers and a broad range of businesses since most diesel-fueled passenger cars and light trucks were not designed for—and are not warranted to run on—biofuel blends of 10 or 20 percent.

 

“Use of such fuel blends could result in increased maintenance costs and engine problems for certain vehicle owners. These problems could impact manufacturers and dealers in the state through lost sales and increased warranty claims.

“In addition, through this mandate Minnesota is forcing the sale of what has historically been more costly fuel. The State is purposefully denying access to needed fuels recommended for use in many diesel vehicles while likely raising fueling costs for all diesel vehicles, including those heavy-duty trucks that are designed to accommodate higher blends.

 

“This lawsuit seeks to restore consumer choice.” 

 

You can trust we will keep you informed on the progress of this major initiative.

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