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Biden-Harris administration, Department of Agriculture announce efforts to enable energy independence by boosting homegrown biofuels

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development NY State Director Brian Murray announced steps USDA was taking to implement President Biden’s plan to enable energy independence by boosting homegrown biofuels, right here in New York. This message follows an announcement made yesterday by Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“President Biden understands that by expanding our ability to meet our energy needs with homegrown biofuels, we can ensure a more reliable and affordable source of fuel for American consumers, while supporting American agriculture and sustainable, domestic energy production, creating good-paying jobs, and generating economic opportunities, especially in rural and farm communities,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The President’s announcement today builds on his bold actions to reduce energy prices and tackle rising consumer prices caused by Putin’s Price Hike by tapping into a strong and bright future for the biofuel industry, in cars and trucks and the rail, marine, and aviation sectors and supporting use of E15 fuel this summer. In the short term, American families will experience relief from rising fuel prices and in the long-term, our country can continue to realize energy independence made possible by American agriculture and manufacturing.”

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“Expanding access and availability of higher-blend biofuels will give consumers throughout New York State more environmentally-friendly fuel choices when they fill-up at the pump”, said State Director Murray. “Investments like these will contribute significantly to energy security, air pollution reduction and spur rural economic development.”

USDA is making the following investments as part of the plan outlined by President Biden:

  • $5.6 million for Infrastructure for Renewable Fuels through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program: Today, USDA is announcing funding in 7 states to build infrastructure to expand the availability of higher-blend renewable fuels by approximately 59.5 million gallons per year. States included in this investment are California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and South Dakota. These investments will give consumers more environmentally friendly, and oftentimes more affordable fuel choices when they fill up at the pump.
    • For example, in New York, Veda Realty, Inc. is receiving $126,000 in USDA Rural Development grant funding to create infrastructure to expand the sales and use of renewable fuels. This project will replace four dispensers and two storage tanks at one fueling station located in New York. This project will increase the amount of ethanol sold by 20,257 gallons per year. The purpose of this funding program is to assist owners of transportation fueling and fuel distribution facilities in activities designed to expand the sales and use of ethanol and biodiesel.
  • $700 Million for Biofuels Producers: As part of the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, USDA is providing up to $700 million in funding through a new Biofuel Producer Program. The Program will support agricultural producers that rely on biofuels producers as a market for their agricultural products. By making payments to producers of biofuels, the funding will help maintain a viable and significant market for such agricultural products. Producers can expect awards before the end of April.
  • $100 Million for Biofuels Infrastructure: USDA announced $100 million in new funding for grants for biofuels infrastructure to make it easier for gas stations to sell and to significantly increase the use of higher blends of bioethanol and biodiesel at the pump. The funding will provide grants to refueling and distribution facilities for the cost of installation, retrofitting or otherwise upgrading of infrastructure required at a location to ensure the environmentally safe availability of fuel containing ethanol blends of E15 and greater or fuel containing biodiesel blends B-20 and greater. USDA will also make funding available to support biofuels for railways as a means of assisting with supply chains and helping to reduce costs for consumer goods and transportation.
  • Spurring a New Market in Sustainable Aviation Fuels: USDA is partnering across the federal government to advance the use of cleaner and more sustainable fuels in American transportation and investing billions of dollars in research and agricultural activities to improve aircraft fuel efficiency:
    • A new Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge to inspire the dramatic increase in the production of sustainable aviation fuels to at least 3 billion gallons per year by 2030.
    • New and ongoing funding opportunities to support sustainable aviation fuel projects and fuel producers totaling up to $4.3 billion; and
    • An increase in R&D activities to demonstrate new technologies that can achieve at least a 30% improvement in aircraft fuel efficiency.

These important investments will assist in the development, transportation, and distribution of low-carbon fuels, better market access for producers, and more affordable and cleaner fuels for American consumers.