Congresswoman Bustos Applauds Dept. Of Agriculture Approval of Renewable Energy Funding for Illinois

Washington, D.C. – Today Rep. Cheri Bustos applauded the announcement by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that Illinois will be receiving funding through the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) program. The funds will be used to support the infrastructure needed to make more renewable fuel options available to American consumers.  In June, Rep. Bustos wrote a letter to Governor Rauner urging him to apply for these funds. Then, in July, Rep. Bustos led a bipartisan letter from 13 members of the Illinois delegation to Secretary Vilsack urging these funds be directed to Illinois. Today’s announcement represents a success for Illinois’ biofuel producers and now the Governor will determine which shovel ready projects will receive these dollars.

“I applaud Secretary Vilsack and the Department of Agriculture for recognizing the importance of Illinois’ biofuel producers to our economy and our goal of making America energy independent,” said Rep. Cheri Bustos. “I was proud to help lead this bipartisan effort to bring these federal dollars back to Illinois because it will strengthen our agricultural economy and keep good paying jobs right here in Illinois.”

Background:

When the BIP program was announced by the USDA in June, Bustos sent a letter to Governor Bruce Rauner, urging him to participate in the program. She later led a bipartisan coalition of Illinois delegation members in a letter of support for Illinois’ application for funding through this program.

Through BIP, USDA will award competitive grants, matched by states, to expand the infrastructure for distribution of higher blends of ethanol. BIP funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation must be used to pay a portion of the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps and related infrastructure dedicated to the distribution of higher ethanol blends, for example E15 and E85, at vehicle fueling locations. The matching contributions may be used for these items or for related costs such as additional infrastructure to support pumps, marketing, education, data collection, program evaluation and administrative costs. This partnership will expand markets for farmers, support rural economic growth and the jobs that come with it, and ultimately give consumers more choices at the pump.

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