(OMAHA, Neb.) – USDA Under Secretary Michael Scuse and Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts recently visited one of the first fuel pump investments made possible through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). Thanks to the investment, Nebraska motorists can now fill their tanks with E15, a cleaner burning fuel blend of 15 percent American Ethanol.
“The Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership is increasing access to lower cost, renewable, American-made fuels that will help reduce our country’s environmental impact and support our rural economy,” said Scuse. “The new availability of E15 gives consumers in Nebraska a cleaner option to fuel their vehicle at an affordable price.”
Last year, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA would partner with 21 states through BIP to nearly double the number of fueling pumps nationwide that supply renewable fuels to American motorists. With matching commitments by state and private entities, BIP is investing a total of $210 million to strengthen the rural economy. Nebraska received nearly $2.3 million in federal funds for BIP.
In Nebraska, the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Environmental Trust, individual ethanol plants and the “Prime the Pump” nonprofit organization all contributed matching funds to support the effort. Through Nebraska’s grant, 80 fuel pumps are proposed for installation across the state, with emphasis in high traffic areas, such as Lincoln, Omaha and along the Interstate 80 corridor. Kum-and-Go convenience store locations in and around the Omaha area are the first Nebraska sites to open E15 pumps as part of the program.
A typical gas pump delivers fuel with 10 percent ethanol, which limits the amount of renewable energy that consumers can purchase. BIP aims to increase the number of pumps, storage and related infrastructure that offer higher blends of ethanol, such as E15, E85, and even intermediate combination blends.
BIP is administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency. USDA continues to aggressively pursue investments in renewable energy to create jobs in rural communities, drive economic growth, and help reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. To learn more about USDA investments in energy, visit www.usda.gov/energy.