Minnesota is leading the way when it comes to clean fuel options

The state used a lot of clean energy options this year.

See, this year wasn't all bad – Minnesotans used more clean fuel options in 2016.

That's according to a news release from the American Lung Association Clean Air Choice, which says motorized vehicles are the No. 1 largest source of air pollution.

The need and demand for fuels that cause less pollution continues to grow, the organization says, and Minnesota is a leader in moving towards renewable energy sources.

What we did this year

Our state added more biofuel stations, more public charging stations for electric vehicles, and used more natural gas and propane as vehicle fuels in 2016, Clean Air Choice said.

Almost twice as many E85 fuel stations opened this year compared to 2015, putting us at over 325 stations – more than any other state, the release says. Stations offering E15 gas also went up.

Some of our public transit went greener too. Rochester Public Transit started using a 20 percent biodiesel blend for its 49 buses, reducing emissions and saving the city money. And school districts like St. Paul, St. Francis, Eastern Carver County and Osseo Area schools introduced propane-powered buses.

Minnesota is a major producer of ethanol (a component of alternative fuels), with the capacity to refine more than a billion gallons each year.

Money to do more

With the help of a couple grants, Minnesota will keep exploring alternative fuels and clean vehicle technologies in the coming years.

Twin Cities Clean Cities, an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Energy, was recently awarded a $1 million grant to promote electric vehicles in seven Midwestern states over the next three years, Clean Air Choice said.

The organization will also continue to promote alternative fuels along Interstate 94 from Moorhead to Port Huron, MI, as part of another $4.9 million, three-year Department of Energy grant.

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