The U.S.D.A. will issue $100 million to the states to add the infrastructure needed to roughly double the number of gas pumps delivering higher blends of corn-based ethanol.
“This $100 million being provided by U.S.D.A. will be matched dollar-for-dollar by partners in the 21 states being awarded these resources,” Vilsack said.
The U.S.D.A. estimates the funding to the state of Iowa will result in 187 more gas pumps offering higher ethanol blends, such as E15 and E85. Vilsack believes the effort will give consumers more choices and provide a much needed boost to the rural economy. He cited a study showing the biofuels industry has $184 billion impact on the U.S. economy.
“It supports over 850,000 jobs, promotes and pays $46 billion in wages and generates $14 billion in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments,” Vilsack said. The USDA estimates the grants will support nearly 5,000 pumps at over 1,400 gas stations in the 21 states. Iowa is the nation’s top producer of ethanol.