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State to launch new biofuels initiative with USDA grant

BiofuelsFrom Press Release

 

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Iowa Sec. of Agriculture Bill Northey announced last week the state will receive funding for the new “Fueling Our Future 100” initiative from a competitive grant from the United States Department of Agriculture Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership program. This funding renews Iowa’s commitment to giving consumers choices at the fuel pump.  The State’s revised application requested funding of approximately $5 million and final amounts will be announced by USDA in the near future.

Iowa’s new “Fueling Our Future 100” initiative sets the ambitious goal of adding 100 new fueling sites in 18 months with an estimated 187 blender pumps to provide consumers with access to higher blends of ethanol.   The expanded choices from new fueling locations will lower costs for consumers, add value to agricultural products, enhance our nation’s energy security and provide specific air quality benefits.

This funding will allow the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to expand the existing Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program.  The program, which also requires a private match, is expected to support approximately $10 million in higher ethanol blend projects in Iowa with a partnership of investment from retailers, the state, and federal government.

Funds will be available to any interested retailer, cooperative or interested stakeholder to assist with installing infrastructure related components that are necessary for the delivery of the higher ethanol blended fuel.   Additional information on this program will be announced upon grant agreement finalization.

Upon learning of Iowa securing the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership program funding, Branstad said, “Our state is a proud leader in the production and use of homegrown ethanol and biodiesel. I hope that other states will follow Iowa’s leadership in an industry that supports agriculture, creates rewarding careers and increases family incomes in rural America, provides lower cost alternatives for consumers and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.”

Reynolds applauded the funding as a way for Iowa to expand consumer access to renewable fuels, saying, “The ‘Fueling Our Future 100’ initiative is a public-private partnership to expand consumer access to biofuels.  It’s a win-win for farmers, biofuel producers and consumers, and positions Iowa for continued growth.”

Northey noted the importance of this initiative, saying, “This program will give Iowans more choices at the pump and greater access to clean-burning, home-grown renewable fuels.  It is important we build the infrastructure that will allow Iowans to access and use the fuels we produce right here in our state.”

This new initiative is an example of a great partnership across state government and with various stakeholders, including collaboration between the Governor’s office, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Transportation, and Iowa Economic Development Authority.