Blender pumps give consumers flexibility and choice of ethanol blends when they are fueling up. Now, the USDA is accepting applications for REAP funds that can be used by retailers who want to install more blender pumps.
This is the second year that blender pumps have been authorized as part of the REAP program. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced in 2011 that USDA had plans to install 10,000 blender pumps over the next five years.
That announcement and this year’s opening of the application process is welcome news to the Blend Your Own (BYO) Ethanol campaign, a joint educational effort by the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). The campaign will again offer free grant writing services to those interested in applying.
“This program provided funding for more than 250 blender pumps last year, providing many consumers with the choice and flexibility they deserve to pick the ethanol blends that work for them based on their vehicle, their beliefs, and their budget,” said RFA Director of Market Development Robert White. “Through the BYO Ethanol Campaign, we have the ability to assist retailers in applying for these funds and help USDA and the Obama Administration achieve the renewable fuel goals they have put forward. With E15 fuel registration due any day, these blender pumps will help spread this new blend across the country.”
“We can break the stranglehold oil has over our nation’s economy and energy future by giving consumers the option to choose clean American fuels that are not petroleum,” said ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty. “In just five years, growing ethanol use has helped us reduce our reliance on foreign oil by more than 10% – to a point where imports are less than half of total demand. We can continue that move toward greater energy independence by getting more ethanol in front of more consumers.”
This program is designed to help spur rural development. This program offers funding for grants, and loan guarantees, but certain restrictions will apply on the size of the local communities and the businesses applying for the funds. Applications for this program are due on March 30, 2012.