USDA Seeks Input on New Ethanol Sales Infrastructure Incentive Program

NACS members can take the opportunity to provide real input to the agency.

January 20, 2020

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public input to help with the creation of the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), a new program that will expand the availability of domestic ethanol and biodiesel by incentivizing expanded sales of renewable fuels.

“Feedback from farmers, retailers and biofuels producers is critical to the success of this future program,” Agriculture Secretary Perdue said in a press release. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA remains committed to fulfilling a key promise to American farmers to enhance the promotion of biofuels.”

President Trump has made it abundantly clear that he is unleashing the full potential of American energy production as the United States retakes its rightful place as the world’s lead energy producer and becomes energy independent. Expanding the sale of biofuels will provide consumers with more choices when they fill up at the pump, including environmentally friendly fuel with decreased emissions, driving demand for U.S. farmers and improving the air itself.

The agency seeks information on options for fuel ethanol and biodiesel infrastructure, innovation, products, technology and data derived from all HBIIP processes and/or science that drive economic growth, promote health and benefit the public.

Through this RFI, the USDA seeks input from the public on: retail fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities and similar entities with capital investments, such as equipment providers, equipment installers, certification entities and other stakeholder/manufacturers (both upstream and down) fuel distribution centers, including terminals and depots. The USDA will also seek input from those performing innovative research and/or developing enabling platforms and applications in manufacturing, energy production, and agriculture.

NACS is encouraging its members to answer the request for information. “I have heard there could be as much as $300 million made available as retail grants to offer these fuels,” John Eichberger, executive director for the Fuels Institute, told NACS Daily. “If so, it would be in NACS members best interest to influence how this program is structured so that it actually is a benefit to retailers.”

A full description of the RFI is available on page 2699 of the Jan. 16, 2020, Federal Register.