Members of our Illinois Congressional delegation have chimed in this week in support of the State of Illinois’ application for grant funds available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA’s Biofuels Infrastructure Program was designed to make fuels like E15 and E85 more widely available. Both our U.S. Senators co-signed a letter to Secretary Vilsack supporting the State’s application. Their letter joined one sent just days prior by our Congressmen.
“The continued advancement of biofuels in Illinois helps support a strong agricultural economy,” the Senators wrote. “The state’s 14 ethanol plants have an annual production capacity of 1.4 billion gallons, representing nearly 10 percent of U.S. capacity. The ethanol industry in Illinois supports more than 70,000 jobs, paying out $4.7 billion in annual wages and creating $17.5 billion in annual economic output. With the potential to support additional good-paying jobs across the state and the promise of more affordable fueling options for consumers in Illinois, we strongly support DCEO’s grant application.”
Congressmen Rodney Davis, Cheri Bustos, Robin Kelly, Mike Bost, Adam Kinzinger, Tammy Duckworth, Bill Foster, John Shimkus, Randy Hultgren, Dan Lipinski, Jan Schakowsky, Robert Dold, and Peter Roskam all signed another letter in support of Illinois’ application.
“Projects funded by these competitive grants will expand markets for farmers in Illinois and help our state further diversify its rural energy portfolio. The projects included in DCEO’s proposal can being construction and installation almost immediately once the awards are announced. These stations are in areas of large vehicle populations and large volumes of fuel sales. Ultimately, this partnership will support rural economic growth and jobs, all while providing consumers more choices at the pump.”