Starting May 1, Minnesota trucks and other vehicles will be burning cleaner fuel thanks to a state requirement that diesel fuel contain 5% biodiesel in most diesel fuel sold in the state.

In 2005, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to require the blending of biodiesel into diesel fuel. The initial amount of biodiesel was 2%, with a tiered increase going to 5% this year, and then to higher percentages in future years. The goal is to reach 20% biodiesel by 2015, as part of a larger shift in Minnesota toward more clean-burning, homegrown renewable fuels.

Minnesota's biodiesel mandate has provided an important incentive leading to the establishment of the state's biodiesel production industry. That industry has an annual production capacity of 63 million gallons, and generates much-needed jobs and economic activity for greater Minnesota.

According to Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson, biodiesel is a reliable, clean fuel that benefits the state's economy and environment. It also helps reduce the state's reliance on foreign sources of energy.

"Biodiesel has a significant positive energy balance," Hugoson says. "A 2007 federal study found for every unit of fossil energy used to make biodiesel, 3.5 units of energy are gained."

Fill up on biodiesel facts at the Minnesota Biodiesel Program.