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Pawlenty signs bill increasing ethanol content in gasoline
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Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Greg Davids celebrate the signing of the ethanol bill on Tuesday. (MPR Photo/Laura McCallum)
Minnesota is the first state with a law mandating 20-percent ethanol use by the year 2013.

St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Pawlenty signed the ethanol mandate into law at a gas station that sells E-85, a blend containing 85-percent ethanol.

The new law would double the state's current requirement that all gasoline sold in the state contain 10 percent of the corn-based additive. Pawlenty says Minnesota is on its way to becoming the "Saudi Arabia of renewable fuels."

"And so we are very excited now to once again raise the bar for the entire nation in renewable fuels by not modestly increasing the ethanol in our gasoline but proposing to double it by the signing of this bill," he said.

The mandate won't take effect unless Minnesota receives a waiver from the federal government. Car manufacturers say 20-percent ethanol hasn't been tested in cars, and could cause problems.

Minnesota has 14 ethanol plants, and two under construction.