USDA accepts higher blend infrastructure applications
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Tiuesday in Illinois that USDA is accepting applications for the latest round of funding of $100 million under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP).
“The Biden-Harris Administration recognizes that rural America is the key to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and giving Americans cleaner, more affordable options at the pump,” Vilsack said.
“Biofuels are homegrown fuels. Expanding the availability of higher-blend fuels is a win for American farmers, the rural economy and hardworking Americans who pay the price here at home when we depend on volatile fuel sources overseas.”
This additional funding follows an April investment of $5.6 million through HBIIP that is expected to increase the availability of biofuels by 59.5 million gallons per year in California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and South Dakota, USDA said.
The grants will cover up to 50% of total eligible project costs — but not more than $5 million — to help owners of transportation fueling and fuel distribution facilities convert to higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. These higher-blend fuels must be greater than 10% for ethanol and greater than 5% for biodiesel.
Applications must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 21.
Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper, who joined Vilsack in Gibson City, Ill., said, “This investment by USDA in lower-cost, lower-carbon biofuels will benefit consumers across the country, while also creating new market opportunities for America’s farmers and ethanol producers.”
“USDA’s previous investments in biofuels infrastructure yielded huge dividends for drivers this summer, as higher blends like E15 and E85 were the most affordable options at the pump,” Cooper said.
“We greatly appreciate the vision and leadership shown by Secretary Vilsack, and we are pleased by the Biden administration’s recognition that ethanol and other renewable fuels are an important tool in the quest to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said, “We applaud Secretary Vilsack for his ongoing efforts to expand access to lower-cost, lower-emissions biofuels.”
“We have heard countless success stories from our retail partners about how HBIIP grants have helped them expand options at the pump and bring cleaner, more affordable options to drivers across the nation.
“Today’s announcement reaffirms USDA’s commitment to ensuring a new wave of growth for higher biofuel blends, and we look forward to working with members of the retail community to help them take full advantage of this growth opportunity,” Skor said.
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