Growth Energy, the nation’s largest ethanol association, welcomed the launch of a major infrastructure program under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that promises to expand clean, affordable fuel options at the pump. Announced by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) will provide $100 million in competitive grants for infrastructure projects to facilitate increased sales of higher biofuel blends.
“We applaud Secretary Perdue and USDA for their continued work to support homegrown fuels, as well as our congressional champions who are pressing ahead with legislation to accelerate our progress,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “Growth Energy’s pioneering work with Prime the Pump helped make the original Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership a resounding success, supporting the installation of E15 at more than 2,000 retail locations. Our experience proves that the USDA’s investment will pay dividends for years to come – for retailers, farmers, biofuel produces, and motorists alike.
“Due to COVID-19, American farmers and biofuel producers are facing an economic crisis that threatens the very heart of U.S. agriculture. While we work to secure support needed to ensure that we come out of this strong and ready to rebuild the farm economy, we know that continued progress on long-term investments like HBIIP are critical to show that the light at this end of this tunnel is brighter than ever.”
The USDA’s HBIIP will expand domestic ethanol and biodiesel availability by supporting infrastructure projects to facilitate increased sales of higher biofuel blends (E15/B20 or higher). This effort will build on biofuels infrastructure investments and experience gained through the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). USDA administered BIP from 2016-2019 through state and private partners to expand the availability of E15 and E85 infrastructure to make available higher ethanol blends at retail gas stations around the country.
Growth Energy and Prime the Pump submitted comments to USDA’s request for information on higher blends on Jan. 31, 2020.