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Senators Durbin, Kirk Support Federal Investment in Illinois Biofuels Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. –(ENEWSPF)—August 6, 2015. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) wrote to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today in support of Illinois’ application for additional federal funding to advance the deployment of biofuel infrastructure across Illinois. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making up to $100 million available in competitive grants to states that are testing innovative ways to distribute higher blends of renewable fuel.

“The continued advancement of biofuels in Illinois helps support a strong agricultural economy,” the Senators wrote. “The state’s 14 ethanol plants have an annual production capacity of 1.4 billion gallons, representing nearly 10 percent of U.S. capacity. The ethanol industry in Illinois supports more than 70,000 jobs, paying out $4.7 billion in annual wages and creating $17.5 billion in annual economic output. With the potential to support additional good-paying jobs across the state and the promise of more affordable fueling options for consumers in Illinois, we strongly support DCEO’s grant application.”

In May, USDA announced an investment of up to $100 million in a Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership, which seeks to double the number of fuel pumps capable of supplying higher blends of renewable fuel to consumers, expanding the marketplace for biofuels and decreasing energy costs. More information is available here.

The full text of today’s letter is available below.

August 6, 2015

The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack
Secretary
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250    

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

We write in support of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) application for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) to advance the deployment of biofuel infrastructure across Illinois.

Through DCEO’s proposed public-private partnership, Illinois E-15 & E-85 Infrastructure Program, USDA BIP funding would expand markets for farmers in Illinois and help our state further diversify its energy portfolio in both rural and urban areas. Together with a diverse group of industry partners, DCEO will facilitate the deployment of approximately 57 E-15/E-85 public refueling stations throughout the state. The projects included in DCEO’s proposal can begin construction and installation immediately once the awards are announced. This partnership would support economic growth and jobs in Illinois, while providing consumers more choices at the pump. The proposal is estimated to increase the sale of E-15 and E-85 in Illinois by approximately 152 million gallons or 33% annually and increase total ethanol blended fuels by 4.6 billion over the next 10 years.

The continued advancement of biofuels in Illinois helps support a strong agricultural economy. The state’s 14 ethanol plants have an annual production capacity of 1.4 billion gallons, representing nearly 10 percent of U.S. capacity. The ethanol industry in Illinois supports more than 70,000 jobs, paying out $4.7 billion in annual wages and creating $17.5 billion in annual economic output. With the potential to support additional good-paying jobs across the state and the promise of more affordable fueling options for consumers in Illinois, we strongly support DCEO’s grant application.

Thank you for your attention, and we look forward to working with you as this initiative moves forward.

Sincerely,

Richard J. Durbin, U.S. Senator                            Mark Kirk, U.S. Senator

Source: www.durbin.senate.gov

 

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