Legislators took their first crack Tuesday at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Minnesota's cars and trucks.
Several committees joined to hear about a proposed low-carbon fuel standard. It would require producers of transportation fuels to reduce their carbon footprint by at least 10 percent by 2020.
The first step is a University of Minnesota study to define the full life cycle carbon emissions of various fuels.
Rep. Frank Moe of Bemidji is sponsoring the bill. He says it is a way of leveling the playing field for gas and ethanol.
"So the vendors will need to compete just like they do now for price, they will also need to compete on how much carbon is emitted from production, transportation and burning of the fuel they sell," said Moe. They can use more efficient processes to produce their fuels, or switch to less-carbon-intensive feedstocks like perennial grasses instead of corn for ethanol.
Moe says his bill is a starting point for discussion; it will not be acted on until next year.