Where Does Minnesota’s Gasoline Come From?

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Photo of a Tar Sands facility in Alberta, Canada
by sbamueller, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Most of the gasoline sold in Minnesota starts as petroleum from the Tar Sands region of Alberta, Canada.  Removing Tar Sands from the ground often involves strip mining, extensive use of natural gas and water resources, and destruction of forests and wildlife habitat.

These issues continue to be a concern, but one solution can be found in the fields not far from our homes.  Biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel can be extracted from crops we can replant each year, helping to capture carbon and energy each crop cycle; processing the plants for food, fiber, and transportation fuels; and then begin the cycle over again each Spring.

Minnesota is a state with no crude oil, yet it has become a major provider of biofuels in just a few decades, producing more than a billion gallons of fuel each year.  Better yet, these biofuels produce fewer emissions than traditional petroleum fuels and are renewable.

Minnesotans now have transportation choices that reduce air pollution as well as greenhouse gases. New technologies and emerging fuels offer the promise of even more choices in the future.  We may have a long way to go to 100 percent cleaner vehicles and fuels, but here in Minnesota, we have taken the first steps.

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