WASHINGTON, DC – The investments in ethanol infrastructure and development announced today by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – particularly a new initiative to encourage installation of blender pumps so consumers can choose their fuel and increased use of higher blends in the federal vehicle fleet – will benefit every American by creating more jobs, cleaning the air, and strengthening our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, said Growth Energy, the coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters.

“There is no doubt that Secretary Vilsack and President Obama understand the need to move this nation off our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs here in the U.S. and improve our environment. The measures announced today accelerate our progress toward energy independence and getting our economy going again,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis.

In a major speech at the National Press Club today, Secretary Vilsack announced several steps to promote production of fuel from renewable sources, including the publication of a final rule to implement the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), a five year agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop renewable aviation fuel from forest and crop residues and other “green” feedstocks, and the unveiling of a new report on the future of biofuels.

He also announced a new effort to provide financial assistance, using his existing USDA budget resources, to help retailers install as many as 10,000 blender pumps over the next five years and expanding the use of higher blends of ethanol in our government fleet. Currently there are less than 250 blender pumps across the country.

“If we truly want to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs and improve our environment, we need to ensure that our entire vehicle fleet and fuel infrastructure are ready to use expanded U.S. ethanol production. Each additional flex fuel vehicle and blender pump gives consumers the option of filling up with clean, renewable ethanol to create a more secure energy future for this country,” said Buis.

In July, Growth Energy introduced the Fueling Freedom Plan which calls for the build out of blender pumps and flex fuel vehicles to eliminate the artificial market barriers and open the fuels market. Growth Energy will continue to pursue public policy changes that will incorporate these measures.

Buis also praised the Administration for their commitment to implementing the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, noting that it will significantly help commercialize cellulosic ethanol.

The report announced today is available at http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/err102.

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About Growth Energy
Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at GrowthEnergy.org.

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