|Jun 01, 2011 --
Outline Of Need:
Today there are millions of so-called ‘flex fuel vehicles’ on the road that can use fuel containing up to 85 percent ethanol (E-85). But too few filling stations offer this fuel. While many stations make it easy for motorists to choose between regular and super grade petroleum at the pump, very few stations allow motorist to make a similar choice when it comes to a blend of ethanol and petroleum. The cost to the retailer can be prohibitive.
How Rural Development Helped:
USDA Rural Development, through the Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), administers grants to provide fuel station owners with incentives to install flexible fuel pumps that will offer Americans more renewable energy options.
Judy Canales, Administrator for Business Programs for USDA Rural Development, joined Anita J. (Janie) Dunning, Missouri State Director, along with other “key” stakeholders in an information meeting to educate and inform businesses and consumers about the availability of REAP funding for flex fuel “blender pumps.”
As a result of these meeting and getting the word out about REAP funds, applications for assistance are coming in. Through June 1, 2011, the agency is working on six REAP applications requesting funding on a total of twenty flex fuel pumps.
Administrator Canales, along with State Director Dunning and Kansas State Director Patty Clark, also visited the new ICM pilot cellulosic ethanol facility in St. Joseph, Missouri. According to Greg Krissek of ICM, “Infrastructure investment made possible by the REAP program will be critical to enhancing the availability of biofuels to consumers and will be critical to growth of the biofuels industry”.
As ethanol producers continue to bump up against the blend wall, and fuel prices continue to skyrocket, the expansion of blender pumps across the United States, and in Missouri, can play a key role in providing additional renewable options to consumers and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.