Top Ag Official Announces $100 Million In Ethanol Infrastructure Funding

September 10, 2015
 
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visits a University of Illinois-owned farm in Urbana on Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visits a University of Illinois-owned farm in Urbana on Thursday.

Darell Hoemann/CU Citizen Access

More ethanol fuel blends could soon be for sale at gas stations in Illinois after a multi-million dollar federal investment in the industry’s infrastructure. The U.S. department of Agriculture is giving the state $12 million dollars to expand access to ethanol in Illinois. 

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made the announcement Thursday morning in Urbana. It’s part of 100 million dollars in federal funds, and at least that much in matching funding.

“We think collectively the money will…more than double the number of pumps that are currently in existence today, which will increase demand for ethanol which is obviously a good thing for producers and people whose jobs are dependent on ethanol sales,” Vilsack said.

With the funding, Illinois and twenty other states are set to install some five thousand new pumping systems that hold higher blends of the corn-based ethanol, including E-15 and E-85. 

Vilsack says biofuels help reduce gasoline prices, carbon emissions and stabilize farm income…but acknowledged the threat this poses to the traditional oil and gas industry. 

Story source: WILL