National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) First Vice President Chris Edgington, along with Minnesota Corn Growers Association leadership, today joined U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue for an Albert Lea, Minn., event in support of higher blends of ethanol.
Perdue announced today that USDA has invested $22 million out of the up to $100 million in grants available to increase American ethanol and biodiesel sales through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). According to USDA, the $22 million HBIIP investments are projected to increase ethanol demand by nearly 150 million gallons annually. USDA will announce the remaining grant recipients in the coming weeks.
Further developing the infrastructure needed for higher blends of ethanol continues to be a priority for NCGA. These cost-share grants will support more retailers offering E15 and E85 across the country. Increasing the availability of higher blends today also helps expand the retail infrastructure compatible with the future high octane, mid-level ethanol blends.
Last fall, the Trump Administration made several commitments aimed at putting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) back on track and expanding the biofuels market. While there is more work to be done to uphold the RFS, today’s infrastructure announcement represents follow through from USDA on the department’s commitment. Awarding cost-share grants to retailers will help them expand their offerings of higher ethanol blends and provide more renewable choices for consumers at the pump.
NCGA is also pleased the USDA program requires grant recipients to use their funds for infrastructure certified for at least E25 blends. This requirement builds on our successful partnership with Wayne Fueling Systems to promote the sale of E25-certified pumps, ensuring today’s infrastructure works for tomorrow’s higher blends as well.
NCGA partnered with the Renewable Fuels Association and American Coalition for Ethanol in assisting fuel retailers in applying for these HBIIP grants. Projects in California, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin were awarded grant funds.