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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Biodiesel benefits all Minnesotans

A letter to the editor published on Feb. 24 contained this erroneous statement regarding biodiesel: "Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad used to be second to the U.S. Navy in needs for diesel fuel. Farmers, loggers and trucking firms require huge amounts of diesel fuel and in wintertime, biodiesel fuels gel up and can't be trusted."

There are three points that are either unclear or mistaken in those two sentences.

First, petroleum diesel can and does gel in extreme winter temperatures, as many diesel users in this region can attest. Second, the 5 percent biodiesel blend sold in Minnesota during the winter months has the exactly the same cold flow properties as traditional diesel fuel. This winter blend has been used successfully statewide since 2009. Finally, logging, mining and railroads are specifically excluded from the state's biodiesel requirement.

Biodiesel is a Minnesota-made fuel, created from renewable resources such as excess soybean oil, inedible corn oil, and processed restaurant grease. It burns cleaner than traditional petroleum fuels and helps to add lubricity to the ultra low sulfur diesel sold in the United States.

Thanks to biodiesel, Minnesota is less dependent on imported oil, and the three biodiesel refineries in our state create jobs and tax revenue. It's a winning combination that benefits us all.

Robert Moffitt, Blaine, is the director for Clean Air for the American Lung Association in Minnesota.