The Renewable Fuels Association today submitted a response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s request for information on the agency’s new Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, which was created to expand the availability and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.
“We appreciate the opportunity to respond to USDA’s request for information and look forward to working with USDA and our partners in the retail community,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “This program builds on the success of USDA’s original Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership, which helped increase the availability of E15, E85 and other higher ethanol blends at retail sites across the country. We stand ready to assist USDA and fuel retailers throughout the development and execution of this important program to promote high-octane, low-carbon renewable fuels.”
In its response, RFA recommended that available funding be primarily directed at offsetting the costs to install and/or upgrade retail and wholesale infrastructure compatible with higher biofuel blends. In addition, RFA stated that funding assistance should be accessible to retailers of all sizes and on a nationwide basis. This should include everything from small, single-store owners to mid-size retailers and large chains.
RFA also noted that many of the barriers that discourage broader expansion of higher ethanol blends are regulatory in nature and under the jurisdiction of EPA. RFA’s comments ask USDA to encourage its peer agency to take action to resolve these many barriers.