WASHINGTON, August 23, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the USDA is accepting applications for $100 million in grants to increase the sale and use of biofuels derived from agricultural products Americans.
The USDA is making funding available through the Infrastructure Incentive Program for Higher Blends (HBIIP). This program aims to commercialize higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by sharing the costs of building and upgrading biofuel infrastructure such as pumps, dispensers and storage tanks.
“The Biden-Harris administration recognizes that rural America is key to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and providing Americans with cleaner, more affordable options at the pump,” Vilsack said. “Biofuels are local fuels. Expanding the availability of higher-blend fuels is a win for American farmers, the rural economy, and American workers who pay the price here at home when we depend on volatile fuel sources overseas.
This additional funding follows an April investment of $5.6 million through HBIIP that is expected to increase biofuel availability by 59.5 million gallons per year in California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and South Dakota.
In June, the USDA also announced that it had provided $700 million in relief funds to more than 100 biofuel producers in 25 states that suffered market losses due to the pandemic.
These investments reflect the goals of President Biden’s Cut Inflation Act, which addresses immediate economic needs and includes the largest-ever federal investment in clean energy for the future. The law includes an additional $500 million aimed at increasing the sale and use of fuels made from agricultural products. This funding will enable the USDA to provide additional grants for infrastructure improvements related to the blending, storage, supply and distribution of biofuels.
Gasoline prices continue to fall, at the fastest pace in more than a decade. Biofuels are an important part of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to lower gasoline prices for the American people.
Under the HBIIP, the USDA provides grants for transportation fueling and distribution facilities. These grants reduce companies’ out-of-pocket costs to install and upgrade infrastructure and related equipment.
The $100 million available now will support a variety of refueling operations, including gas stations, convenience stores and large retail stores that also sell fuel. The funds will also support fleet facilities, including rail and marine, and fuel distribution facilities, such as fuel terminal operations, midstream operations, distribution facilities as well as heating oil distribution centers.
The grants will cover up to 50% of total eligible project costs – but no more than $5 million – to help owners of fueling and fuel distribution facilities convert to higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. These higher blend fuels must be greater than 10% for ethanol and greater than 5% for biodiesel.
Applications must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. ET on November 21, 2022. Visit the HBIIP webpage to learn more, register for the webinars and apply.
The USDA offers priority points to projects that advance key priorities of the Biden-Harris administration to help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, advance equity, and fight climate change. These additional points will increase the likelihood of funding projects that advance these key priorities for people living in rural America.
Under the Biden-Harris administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunity, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This aid supports the improvement of infrastructure; Business development; lodging; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed Internet access in rural, tribal and very poor areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
The USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the US food system with greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe food, healthy and nutritious in all communities, creating new markets and income streams for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in clean energy infrastructure and capacity in the rural America, and committing to equity across the department by removing systemic barriers and creating a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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