The USDA is accepting applications for federal Rural Energy for America (REAP) funds to help gasoline retailers install blender pumps. This is designed to give consumers choice in the ethanol blends they use.
This is the second year that blender pumps have been authorized as part of the REAP program. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last year that USDA had plans to install 10,000 blender pumps over the next five years.
That announcement and this year’s opening of the application process is welcome news to the Blend Your Own (BYO) Ethanol campaign, a joint educational effort by the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). The campaign will again offer free grant writing services to those interested in applying.
“This program provided funding for more than 250 blender pumps last year,” said RFA Director of Market Development Robert White. “Through the BYO Ethanol Campaign, we have the ability to assist retailers in applying for these funds and help USDA and the Obama Administration achieve the renewable fuel goals they have put forward. With E15 fuel registration due any day, these blender pumps will help spread this new blend across the country.”
“In just five years, growing ethanol use has helped us reduce our reliance on foreign oil by more than 10 percent -- to a point where imports are less than half of total demand. We can continue that move toward greater energy independence by getting more ethanol in front of more consumers,” said ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty.
USDA’s program offers funding for grants, and loan guarantees, but certain restrictions will apply on the size of the local communities and the businesses applying for the funds. Applications are due on March 30, 2012.
For more information on the REAP Program, free grant writing services or blender pumps, visit www.BYOEthanol.com.