WASHINGTON, D.C. – Growth Energy yesterday submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), making recommendations to the agency’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS) on how to make the most of certain provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
“Our industry is poised to work with you and the administration to help achieve the ambitious climate goals sought by the enactment of the IRA,” said Growth Energy in its comment. “To that end, we look forward to working with you on the implementation of the new law including section 22003 that provides $500M in funding for biofuels infrastructure.”
Specifically, Growth Energy recommended that USDA administer the aforementioned $500 million in a way that maximizes the use of higher ethanol-blended fuels like E15, a blend of gasoline and 15% ethanol that can be used in more than 96% of the vehicles currently on the road today.
- Among its recommendations, Growth Energy urged USDA to
- Release the full $500 million in funding as soon as possible;
- Prioritize projects that replace gasoline with higher bioethanol blends;
- Remove the $5 million cap on projects funded under section 22003;
- Streamline its environmental review process; and
- Work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clarify lingering regulatory uncertainties on the year-round sale of E15.
A full copy of the letter can be found here.
Earlier this year the USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS) hosted listening sessions and requested comments on the agency’s implementation of provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Section 22003 of the IRA specifically appropriates $500 million “to support the development of biofuel infrastructure, including infrastructure improvements for blending, storing, supplying or distributing biofuels; installing, retrofitting or upgrading fuel dispensers to supply higher blends of biofuels; and for building and retrofitting home heating oil distribution centers to supply biofuels.” In addition to working on behalf of America’s biofuel producers on this latest round of funding with the USDA, Growth Energy has simultaneously worked with most of the nearly 3,000 retailers offering E15 through its extensive work in USDA’s prior infrastructure programs in conjunction with the industry’s own Prime the Pump initiative.