USDA program, Lung Assoc. help stores sell more ethanol

By Sara Wyant

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WASHINGTON, June 30, 2016 - Another independent gasoline and convenience store chain is embracing ethanol, in part because of USDA's Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership Program (BIP) and in part, because of the firm's commitment to cleaner air.

Illinois dignitaries were in Oak Lawn, Ill. on Tuesday to help Thorntons celebrate one of 43 locations in the state which are being converted to sell both E85 and Unleaded E15 (Thornton's brand of E15). Visitors from the Illinois General Assembly were on hand to learn about the importance of ethanol to the state's economy, as well as corn farmers and agribusiness leaders.

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And the American Lung Association of Illinois was also participating, offering $2 coupons to attract customers and inform them of the clean air benefits.

"Thorntons' commitment to ethanol-blended fuels represents a monumental change in renewable fuels marketing and provides consumers with real choices at the pump allowing them to save money and realize greater value in their fuels," said Jeff Jarboe, Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) President.

"Illinois Corn commends Thorntons for their vision, investment and commitment to providing additional fuel choices to their customers. They're providing a low-carbon, high octane choice at the pump that typically comes with a lower price tag, as well. That's music to everyone's ears."


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The pump conversion was funded by an $11.97 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, with additional support from the Illinois Corn Marketing Board's checkoff dollars, the Illinois Renewable Fuels Association, and Prime the Pump, an ethanol industry grant program.

For a breakdown of funds available for each state, click here:

Thorntons became eligible for the BIP program through an application process and was chosen by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity as the largest recipient of BIP funds in Illinois, according to ICGA. With headquarters in Louisville, Thorntons ranks as one of Kentucky's largest privately-held companies with more than $2.3 billion in annual revenue. It recently was ranked 250th in Forbes magazine's annual list of 500 largest privately held companies.

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