While speaking to participants at the Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue today unveiled the details of a new Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program. Under the program, USDA will make available up to $100 million in competitive, cost share grants for activities designed to expand the sale and use of renewable fuels. The program will help significantly increase the sale and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by expanding the infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products.
In addition to the announcement on HBIIP, Secretary Perdue directed USDA to increase the use of renewable fuels in the departments 37,000 vehicle fleet. Perdue directed his department to acquire alternative fueled vehicles when replacing conventionally fueled vehicles. USDA owns and operates one of the largest civilian fleets in the federal government and this move to a fleet that can use E85 or biodiesel will increase efficiencies and performance. These actions, he noted, have the potential to increase USDA’s annual consumption of E15 by 9 million gallons, E85 by 10 million gallons, and biodiesel and renewable diesel blends by 3 million gallons.
Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper made the following statement:
“Leadership manifests itself in actions, not words. And today’s announcement by Secretary Perdue is all about taking definitive action to expand the market for biofuels, grow demand for farm commodities, and offer lower-cost, cleaner fuel options to consumers. On behalf of the U.S. ethanol industry, I thank Secretary Perdue and President Trump for their continued commitment to America’s farmers and renewable fuels industry.”