FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tricia Braid (309) 557-3257
BLOOMINGTON, Ill--Illinois motorists are in a perfect position to benefit from a $100 million grant program announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that would improve fueling infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol.
The so-called Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership will support the infrastructure needed to make higher ethanol blend options available to consumers. Specifically, USDA will administer competitive grants to match funding for state-led efforts to market higher blends of renewable fuel, such as E15 and E85. States that are able to provide greater than a one-to-one ratio in funding will receive higher consideration.
“We’re appreciative of Secretary Vilsack’s efforts to support rural economies and consumer choice,” said Ken Hartman, Jr., Illinois Corn Growers Association President and farmer from Waterloo. “This USDA program is refreshing given signals coming from the Administration in other areas related to agriculture.
“Illinois corn farmers are committed to expanded consumer choice at the pump by expanding market access to higher blends. We look forward to matching these USDA dollars with existing and planned program funds here in Illinois.”
Illinois corn farmers have long partnered with the State of Illinois and the American Lung Association (ALA) in Illinois to offer incentive programs that add to fuel choice at the pump. Those programs are even timelier when one considers that efforts underway in Chicago and Springfield to bring the clean air benefits of higher ethanol blends to consumers.
“We know that higher ethanol blends are an important part of the clean air formula,” said Angela Tin, Vice-President of Environmental Health at ALA in Illinois. “These federal funds will go a long way in leveraging the State and corn checkoff monies to add more dispensers capable of pumping higher ethanol blends.”
“Illinois Corn Growers Association looks forward to working with Governor Rauner and his staff to make a competitive application for the USDA funds,” Hartman added.