Propel Fuels Hosts USDA’s Judith Canales

Joanna Schroeder

Propel Fuels hosted Judith Canales, Administrator for Rural Business and Cooperative Programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), yesterday at one of the fuel retailer’s stations in Oakland, California yesterday to promote the positive and economic and environmental impacts biofuels has on the US. Propel is the leading retailer in the US installing biofuel infrastructure for both ethanol and biodiesel to the 20 million renewable fuel-ready vehicles (with approximately 1 million on the roads in California) on America’s roads today. However, the majority of flex-fuel vehicle drivers don’t have access to the fuel.

Canales’ visit highlights the USDA’s plan to fund the build-out of 10,000 renewable fuel pumps across the nation in the next five years, and the industry anticipates that announcements are forthcoming within the next few weeks as to selected retailers that will receive initial funds to help them install E85 pumps and blender pumps across the country.

“Propel shares the USDA’s vision for quickly increasing consumer access to renewable fuels in order to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, boost local economies, and reduce emissions,” said Jim Iacoponi, Vice President of Operations of Propel. “Through a partnership between private investment and public funds, Propel will continue to build the critical link between California’s drivers and the next generation of fuels.”

In late 2010, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the USDA’s plan to help fund the installation of 10,000 renewable fuel pumps across the nation within the next five years. This plan, along with other departmental efforts, aim to support the further development of the domestic renewable fuels industry, creating jobs and economic growth, primarily in rural America, but to the benefit of all of America. The USDA is looking to partner with private sector infrastructure providers in order to quickly and efficiently roll out the 10,000-pump plan in coming years.

“The USDA is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America and we believe a strong renewable fuels industry, including convenient access to these fuels, is critical to this goal,” said Canales.

Propel’s stations are frequented by California’s greenest fleets including the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) who showcased vehicles at today’s event. In addition to infrastructure, Propel’s education and outreach programs empower consumers and fleets to make the move to renewable fuels. Adoption of these fuels can provide immediate and significant CO2 reductions helping achieve California’s ambitious emission reduction goals.

Biodiesel, biofuels, blends, E85, Ethanol, Flex Fuel Vehicles