USDA invests $210 million to boost availability of higher ethanol blends at gas stations
By Daniel Enoch
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2015 - USDA said today that its Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) is investing $210 million in 21 states to nearly double the number of gas station pumps nationwide that supply renewable fuels to American motorists.
The investment includes more than $100 in matching funds from states and private partners, after the USDA in May announced the availability of $100 million in grants through the BIP. The department estimates the awards announced today will expand infrastructure by nearly 5,000 pumps - most offering intermediate blends of corn-based ethanol such as E15 -- at over 1,400 fueling stations. A typical gas pump delivers fuel with 10 percent ethanol.
"This major investment in renewable energy infrastructure will give Americans more options that not only will suit their pocketbooks, but also will reduce our country's environmental impact and bolster our rural economy," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today as he made the announcement at a service station in Kissimmee, Florida. "The volume and diverse geographic locations of partners willing to support this infrastructure demonstrate the demand across the country for lower cost, cleaner, American-made fuels. Consumers will begin to see more of these pumps in a matter of months.”
Besides Florida, the states participating in the BIP include Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Click here to see the amount awarded to each state. BIP is administered by the Farm Service Agency.
Joining Vilsack today in Florida was Tom Buis, a co-chair of the ethanol industry group Growth Energy.
“Just six months ago, this was an idea on a piece of paper,” Buis said in a statement. “Today, we are seeing firsthand the implementation of this program to increase market access for cleaner, homegrown, renewable fuels. The speed with which this program has been implemented clearly demonstrates that USDA and its state and private sector partners can indeed make good things happen.”
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