The battle between ethanol
supporters and the oil industry was
protracted, underhanded, and occasionally vicious, with much
at stake

Minnesota’s development of an ethanol program is a classic underdog story. Despite the odds against them, Minnesota ethanol supporters were relentless in their mission to reduce dependence on foreign oil, clean the air, and boost the state’s economy with a homegrown, renewable fuel. They prevailed over the oil industry’s influential control, transforming Minnesota from a state that imported all of its fuel to one that exports over half of the ethanol it produces.

Now every driver in Minnesota fills the tank with gasoline blended with at least 10 percent ethanol made from corn grown in Minnesota. In 2006 nearly a third of stations in the U.S. equipped to dispense E85 – a fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline – were located in Minnesota.

HIGH OCTANE tells how Minnesota created and implemented its unique model of ethanol development, eventually becoming one of the top ethanol producing states in the country. At the forefront were Minnesota corn farmers who not only envisioned a new use for their corn, but also were willing to invest their own money in bringing that vision to fruition through farmer-owned ethanol plants.


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