During a press briefing, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a USDA program will provide funding for installation of ethanol blender pumps to provide Americans with flexible fuel vehicle with more choices when they fill up. “This announcement is going to help expand the national biofuels industry and create jobs across the country,” said Vilsack.
USDA is issuing a rule to clarify that the definition of renewable energy systems in the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) includes flexible fuel pumps, sometimes referred to as “blender pumps.” This clarification is intended to provide fuel station owners with incentives to install flexible fuel pumps that will offer Americans more renewable energy options. The Obama administration has set a goal of installing 10,000 flexible fuel pumps nationwide within 5 years.
“Flex-fuel pumps will give Americans a choice to purchase domestically produced renewable transportation fuels,” Vilsack said. “USDA’s energy programs are helping to build a clean energy economy, while creating green jobs here at home and making our nation more energy secure in the long-term.”
“Today there are more than eight million flex-fuel vehicles, cars and trucks that can run on a mixture of gas and up to 85 percent ethanol,” Vilsack said. “There are over 110,000 gas stations in the country today, but only 2300 of them provide E85 pumping and distribution systems.”
Vilsack was supposed to make the announcement from Gilbarco Veeder-Root, a flexible fuel pump manufacturing plant in Greensboro, North Carolina, but “given the discussions taking place in the nation’s capitol” with the potential for a government shutdown, Vilsack felt it was more important to stay in Washington. He did have a conversation with company officials about their ability to respond to increased demand for installation of new blender pumps.
Gilbarco, together with Dresser Wayne, are the two largest manufacturers of fuel dispensers in the U.S that offer blender pumps built to dispense a variety of ethanol fuel formulations.
Listen to or download Vilsack’s comments here: Secy Vilsack on Blender Pump Funding