U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says Nebraska is among 21 states receiving grants to help increase the availability of biofuels.
The USDA will issue $100-million to the states to add the infrastructure needed to roughly double the number of gas pumps delivering higher blends of corn-based ethanol.
“This $100 million that’s being provided by USDA will be matched dollar-for-dollar by partners in the 21 states being awarded these resources,” Vilsack says.
The USDA estimates the funding to the state of Nebraska will result in 80 more gas pumps offering higher ethanol blends, such as E15 and E85. Nebraska is the nation’s #2 ethanol producer, behind only Iowa.
Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa, believes the effort will give consumers more choices and provide a much needed boost to the rural economy. He cites a study showing the biofuels industry has $184-billion impact on the U.S. economy.
“It supports over 850,000 jobs, promotes and pays $46 billion in wages and generates over $14 billion in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments,” Vilsack says.
The USDA estimates the grants will support nearly 5,000 pumps at over 1,400 gas stations in the 21 states.