The USDA announced in September that Nebraska will receive a grant through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) to add infrastructure needed to supply more renewable fuel to America's drivers. With a more than 1:1 match from private and state resources, USDA estimates that the BIP grants will support nearly 5,000 pumps at over 1,400 fueling stations across the country. Nebraska's goal is to install approximately 80 fuel pumps. Information about specific pump locations and grant awards will be released later.
A typical gas pump delivers fuel with 10 percent ethanol, which limits the amount of renewable fuels most consumers can purchase at the pump. USDA estimates that this investment will more than double the number of stations that offer intermediate blends of ethanol, mainly E15 fuel levels, nationwide.
The competitive grants will be used to expand the infrastructure for distribution of higher blends of ethanol. These competitive grants will create additional markets for feedstock commodities and will be funded through USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), which was created to stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices. 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 fueling stations. 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.