U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Monday the USDA intends to make available up to $100 million in competitive grants for activities that will expand the availability and sale of renewable fuels.


“America’s energy independence is critical to our economic security, and President (Donald) Trump fully recognizes the importance of our ethanol and biofuels industries and the positive impacts they deliver to consumers and farmers with an affordable, abundant, and clean burning fuel,” Perdue said in a news release. “American ethanol and biofuel producers have been affected by decreased energy demands due to the coronavirus, and these grants to expand their availability will help increase their use during our economic resurgence.”


The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program will fund up to $100 million for competitive grants or sales incentives for ethanol and biodiesel fuel producers. Funds will assist transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities with converting to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends. These funds will offer cost-sharing and/or sales incentives for the installation of fuel pumps, equipment and infrastructure.


“While this proposal does not give immediate relief to the Kansas biofuel pants, it is good news in very uncertain times,” said Ron Seeber, president and CEO of Renew Kansas. “This program will help support low carbon biofuels and propel higher blends into the future.”