ACE Thanks USDA for its Continual Investment in Biofuel Infrastructure
Posted on 04/23/2021
Sioux Falls, SD (April 23, 2021) –The U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced investments in critical infrastructure this week that prioritizes climate-smart solutions and environmental stewardship, including an investment of $18.4 million in 20 states through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty welcomed this news in the following statement:
“ACE is pleased that under Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, USDA is continuing to distribute HBIIP funding to help more fuel marketers make infrastructure upgrades that may be necessary to offer higher ethanol blends at fuel stations and blending facilities. This program helps expand the availability of low carbon fuel blends at the pump to help contribute to our greenhouse gas reduction goals. In most of the country, E85 is a lower carbon option than even plug-in electric vehicles and it’s available right now. There are more than 20 million flex fuel vehicles on the road already. If we’re going to rapidly decrease carbon emissions in transportation by 2030, funding more E15 and E85 fueling locations can reduce carbon emissions in weeks and months, not years.
“ACE was happy to help promote USDA’s biofuel infrastructure program with paid advertising throughout last year and help several fuel retailers across the country submit applications, some of which have received funding and others who are still trying to meet requirements that seem to have become moving targets since the sites were tentatively approved for grants months ago. Hopefully, these issues can be resolved by USDA quickly and more low cost E15 and E85 become available as gas prices rise.
“Meanwhile, we’ll continue to make sure station owners know what their equipment can do right now and help more of them start to sell higher ethanol blends via our E15 equipment compatibility tool, Flex Check, which EPA has adopted on its website as a resource for determining equipment compatibility and meeting federal requirements for storing biofuels. If we are going to move significant new volumes of low carbon ethanol in E15, it's going to be because massive numbers of retail units are converted at little or no cost, on top of what stations are able to add in new fueling infrastructure with HBIIP dollars.”
ACE also supports the Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Investment and Market Expansion Act, bipartisan legislation that would enable USDA to continue making investments in biofuel infrastructure.