Minnesota ranks No. 1 in weaning drivers off gasoline

E85: It's the corn.

E85: It's the corn.

Minnesota is officially the best state when it comes to replacing gasoline with alternatives that don't line the pockets of Middle East oil sharks, according to the Department of Energy.

For that, we can thank the corn, and the Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition.


We have more E85 gas pumps (360) than any other state. We were the first state to require a 5 percent biodiesel blend in most diesel fuels. Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Brooklyn Park were among the first cities in the country to adopt alternative fuel vehicles. And the state fleet boasts 2,500 flex fuel vehicles, the coalition said.

The organization is part of a state-by-state initiative that launched in 1993 using federal seed money to wean consumers off fossil fuels. It's administered here by the American Lung Association, which offered gas station franchise owners a subsidy for installing E85 pumps. The pumps are now installed in almost every county in the state, Lung Association spokesman Robert Moffitt told us today.

The coalition also stood behind the science that prompted a state law that mandates a biodiesel component in diesel fuels. The ratio is 5 percent today, but it moves to 10 percent in the summer months starting next year, and 20 percent in the summer of 2015. Once the 20 percent mark takes effect, it's expected to prevent 1.3 billion pounds of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere every year.

The way DOE figures it, the work done by the Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition displaced 135,175,133 cumulative gallons of gasoline from 2005-2009.