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USDA to acquire alternative fueled vehicles
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued a memo today directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to acquire alternative fueled vehicles (AFV) when replacing conventionally fueled vehicles. USDA owns and operates one of the largest civilian fleets in the federal government, and this move to a fleet that can use E85 or biodiesel will increase efficiencies and performance.
Additionally, as part of the President Donald J. Trump’s October agreement to seek opportunities to facilitate the availability of higher biofuel blends across the country, USDA will make $100 million in grants available this year for the newly created Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). Through this program, transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities will be able to apply for grants to help install, retrofit, and/or upgrade fuel storage, dispenser pumps, related equipment, and infrastructure to be able to sell ethanol and biodiesel.
The department plans to publish application deadlines and other program information in the Federal Register this spring.
“Both of these actions underscore USDA is putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to increased biofuels usage. Expanding nationwide infrastructure that offers biofuels and increasing the number of biofuel-capable vehicles in our fleet will increase the use of environmentally friendly fuel with decreased emissions, driving demand for our farmers and improving the air we breathe,” Secretary Perdue said. “President Trump is fighting for our corn and soybean growers and biofuel producers by finalizing year-round E15, ensuring that more than 15 billion gallons of ethanol and 2.43 billion gallons of biodiesel enters the market in 2020, and opening up new markets abroad. USDA will continue to do its part to encourage the use of homegrown energy.”