Biodiesel and ethanol industries respond to USDA higher blends infrastructure grants

October 11, 2020 |

In Washington, D.C., the National Biodiesel Board, Iowa Biodiesel Board, and Iowa Soybean Association, the Renewable Fuels Association, and others welcomed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s announcement of cost-sharing grants to support infrastructure that will increase consumer access to higher blends of renewable fuels.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a series of grants as part of the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, or HBIIP. These awards will provide retailers with a way to offer more choices to consumers at the pump, the Renewable Fuels Association said, noting that there was a 100% success rate for the retailers who received grant application assistance from RFA.

“We were pleased to be able to help a large number of retailers who were excited to take part in this program,” said Mullen, RFA’s Director of Market Development. “With today’s announcement, we’re on track to see more fuel locations with higher ethanol blends soon, supporting rural America’s farmers and ethanol producers. We also want to thank USDA again for launching the HBIIP program and understanding the fundamental link between renewable fuels and the farm economy.

“This announcement offers a welcome ray of hope during an otherwise rough year for America’s farmers, retailers, and biofuel producers,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “It represents a major milestone in our efforts to ensure more Americans can access cleaner and more affordable ethanol-blended fuel. We’re especially proud of Growth Energy’s incredible network of retail partners, who bring Unleaded88 (E15) to consumers across the nation and are paving the way for higher blends of ethanol.”

NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen stated, “On behalf of NBB’s members across the country, I want to thank Secretary Sonny Perdue for following through on this commitment to biodiesel producers and farmers. The biodiesel industry is pursuing a vision for sustainable growth to more than 6 billion gallons by the end of this decade. The cost-sharing grants USDA is beginning to announce will help us bring consumers the better, cleaner transportation and heating fuels they are looking for.”

Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, said, “Infrastructure is the key to ensuring we can deliver low carbon fuels to the nation, and these grants will help take us to the next level with that in Iowa and beyond. As the top biodiesel-producing state, Iowa sits at the heart of this energy transformation and our producers and farmers stand ready to grow. We thank USDA for leading this infrastructure effort.”

Iowa Soybean Association President Jeff Jorgenson said, “Today’s announcement is encouraging for soybean farmers. Efforts to make homegrown, soy-based biodiesel more readily available is a win for farmers and consumers. Biodiesel provides an important domestic market for our soybeans and consumers an environmentally friendly fuel choice. As farmers harvest another soybean crop, we’re mindful of the critical demand and price impact of biodiesel, accounting for nearly $1.15 of the current market price for soybeans.”

Of the $100 million USDA has provided for this program, $14 million is intended to support infrastructure for biodiesel blends above 5%, such as B20. The grants will be matched by private and state investments.

Click here for more information on the HBIIP program.


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Category: Policy

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