USDA to invest up to $100m to double number of renewable fuel pumpsStaff writer ▼ | May 30, 2015
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest up to $100 million in a Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership.
Ecology Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced:
Specifically, USDA will administer competitive grants to match funding for state-led efforts to test and evaluate innovative and comprehensive approaches to market higher blends of renewable fuel, such as E15 and E85. States that are able to provide greater than a one-to-one ratio in funding will receive higher consideration.
Higher blends of renewable fuel offer significant potential for increasing the use of renewable fuels in the U.S. gasoline pool, but currently, the typical gas pump can deliver fuel containing a maximum of 10 percent ethanol, limiting the amount of renewable energy consumers can use to fuel their cars.
This new USDA partnership will help support the installation of fuel pumps capable of supplying higher blends of renewable fuel by partnering with states to fund innovative, public-private partnerships to test more comprehensive approaches to marketing such blends. This new investment seeks to double the number of fuel pumps capable of supplying higher blends of renewable fuel to consumers, such as E15 and E85.
The United States exported more than $2 billion dollars of ethanol last year, making the United States the world's largest exporter of ethanol. Additionally, the United States has become a market leader in the export of high-quality distiller's dried grains (DDG), a byproduct of ethanol production used as a high-protein feed for livestock and poultry.
Other countries are investing in clean energy technologies because they realize the tremendous economic potential of these energy sources, and the United States must do the same to remain competitive.
The projects funded by these competitive grants will expand markets for farmers and help them diversify their rural energy portfolios, support rural economic growth and the jobs that come with it, and ultimately give consumers more affordable options at the pump. ■