Ohio and Pennsylvania receive biofuel funding

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Ethanol sign
Ethanol sign (Farm and Dairy file photo)

WASHINGTON — Ohio and Pennsylvania are both big recipients of new U.S. Department of Agriculture funding that will help expand biofuel pumps across the nation.

The USDA announced Oct. 28, that 21 states will receive a total of $210 million, through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership.

Ohio will receive $3.4 million, while Pennsylvania is slated to receive $7 million. The funding will nearly double the number of renewable fuel pumps nationwide, and potentially lead to more demand for ethanol.

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency grant will fund costs related to the installation of more 100 fuel pumps in Ohio, across 41 stations, according to the Ohio Corn Growers Association. Pennsylvania is planning to fund more than 300 pumps, across 79 fueling stations.

“We are proud to be a part of this partnership, which will double the number of renewable fuel pumps in Ohio,” said ODA Director David T. Daniels, in a released statement. “It’s good for corn growers, it’s good for the state’s agriculture industry and it’s good for the environment.”

Matching dollars

The required matching contributions to the USDA’s investment will be provided by the Ohio Corn Marketing Program, Protec Fuel, Sheetz and Speedway LLC. The grant will be administrated by ODA.

“Ohio corn farmers, through OCMP, are proud to leverage their checkoff dollars with this federal grant to increase ethanol infrastructure and support a clean-burning, home-grown fuel,” said Tadd Nicholson, executive director of the OCMP. “Each year over 3,400 farmers supply corn to our seven ethanol plants to produce 500 million gallons of ethanol right here in Ohio.”

Ethanol production

In 2014, national ethanol production replaced the need for imported oil by more than 512 million barrels equivalent, which is more barrels than what the U.S. bought from Saudi Arabia.

A typical gas pump delivers fuel with 10 percent ethanol, which limits the amount of renewable energy most consumers can purchase at the pump. Through this program, consumers will have more options at the pump.

Other states participating in the BIP program include Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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