Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Iowa as one of the 21 recipients of federal grants through the Biofuel Infrastructure Program (BIP) amounting in $210 million. The Iowa Department of Transportation will receive $5 million, which could bring as many as 100 new stations and 187 additional pumps to the state through the “Fueling Our Future 100” initiative.
“Iowa Corn farmers commend Secretary Vilsack on this funding commitment as it will nearly double the number of biofuel pumps nationwide, providing American consumers with additional fuel choices,” said Bob Hemesath, a farmer from Decorah and President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA). “In Iowa, this initiative will provide consumers with greater access to higher blends of ethanol, all while lowering the cost at the pump, adding value to agricultural products such as corn and helping eliminate our dependence on foreign oil.”
A typical gas pump delivers fuel with 10 percent ethanol, which limits the amount of renewable energy that consumers can utilize. The new partnership will increase the number of pumps, storage tanks, and related infrastructure that offer higher blends of ethanol, such as E15, E85, and other mid-level blends.
“This goal of increased reliance on domestically produced renewable fuels can only be realized if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) upholds the higher renewable volume obligation numbers required under the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Hemesath. “We urge them to consider revising their current proposed numbers by the November 30th deadline.”
The BIP program, which also requires a private match, is expected to support approximately $10 million in higher ethanol blend projects in Iowa with a partnership of investment from retailers, the state, and federal government.
The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is an 8,000-member strong grassroots-driven organization, headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, serving members across the state, and lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its farmer members to create opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability. For more information, visit iowacorn.org.