Biofuels Receiving Support

The USDA in its expanding support of American-grown renewable energy, announced the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) on May 29th. This program is designed to double the number of renewable fuel blender pumps that supply higher ethanol blends, like E15 and E85, and increase ethanol consumption. Proponents of the BIP see this as a considerable opportunity to strengthen the positioning of renewable fuels through availability and reach and to give consumers more choices at the pump.

On June 16, 2015 the USDA will issue a Notice of Funds Available for this new program. Administered by the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation, up to $100 million in grants will be available to all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington DC. States that offer a greater than one-to-one ratio in funding will receive higher consideration for grant funds and States may work with private entities to enhance their offer.

A typical gas pump can deliver fuel that contains a maximum 10% ethanol, which limits the amount of renewable energy most consumers can purchase at the pump, despite the fact that our farmers now produce record amounts of renewable biofuels. The USDA expects this program will create innovative ways to distribute higher blends of renewable fuel.

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. 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. To date, more than $3.3 million has been spent on blending equipment in support of ethanol fuels.

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