WASHINGTON — Today, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack announced the recipients of federal grants through the Biofuel Infrastructure Program (BIP). Last month, Secretary Vilsack announced that 21 states had been selected to participate in the matching grants program, which aims to give consumers greater access to higher ethanol blends by investing up to $100 million in biofuel blender pumps. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen applauded USDA for its continued investment in biofuels: "USDA in general and Secretary Vilsack particular are to be commended for providing consistent, concerted, and courageous leadership when it comes to investing in American energy," said Dinneen. "These matching grants will inject the capital that is needed to build out the infrastructure that is critical for increasing consumer access to higher ethanol blends. Today's announcement by USDA underscores the importance of having the private sector invest in our nation's biofuels industry. Our hope is that EPA is watching and paying close attention." The 21 states participating in the BIP include Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.