SHAKOPEE, Minn. — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue revealed Minnesota retailers will receive $1.86 million to expand ethanol infrastructure as part of USDA’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). The investment will help local retailers build out infrastructure for higher blends of ethanol, including E15, increasing consumer access to cleaner-burning options at the pump.
The announcement by Perdue (pictured) took place at an event held Thursday at Trail Travel Plaza in Albert Lea, which was attended by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. Six Minnesota retailers, including Trail Travel Plaza, will receive funds to increase ethanol volume by 12.8 million gallons.
The HBIIP investment follows a commitment by the Trump administration last fall to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard and expand the biofuels market. USDA will allocate $86 million in ethanol infrastructure through HBIIP nationwide.
Retailers receiving funds through HBIIP for ethanol infrastructure is a major win for Minnesotans in search of a cleaner-burning fuel. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ethanol made from corn helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 39-43 percent compared to gasoline.
Minnesotans continue to set record highs in E15 gallons pumped each year. More than 350 retailers currently offer E15, up from only 14 in 2014. The HBIIP investment will further increase consumers’ access to E15 across the state.
“As we see E15 continue to break sales records year after year, it is clear Minnesotans want an option at the pump that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves air quality,” MCGA President Tim Waibel said. “Investing in ethanol infrastructure through HBIIP will make it easier than ever for consumers to find E15, bringing us closer to reaching our environmental goals while supporting an ethanol industry thousands of farmers and rural communities depend on.”
The announcement is the latest driving momentum for E15 in Minnesota.
MCGA launched the Better Fuel Initiative last year to promote the adoption of state policies, raise awareness, drive research and increase infrastructure to meet Minnesota’s environmental goals through the use of ethanol-blended fuels. With more drivers choosing E15 and increased access to the cleaner-burning fuel, the Better Fuel Initiative supports an increase in Minnesota’s existing biofuel standard from 10 percent to 15-percent. MCGA will continue to work with policy makers to bring this much-needed legislation to Minnesotans.
To learn more about the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, visit mncorn.org. Additional information on the Better Fuel Initiative and its mission to build a future of better transportation fuels for all Minnesotans can be found at betterfuel.org.
Last modified: 10/14/2020