U.S. Department of Agriculture rolls out $4.2 million grant to expand sale, use of E-15
Commissioner Quarles joined USDA officials, farmers for biofuels announcement
DRY RIDGE, KY (Oct. 30, 2020) – Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles joined U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials today to announce a $4.2 million grant to Thorntons LLC to expand the sale and use of ethanol blends, such as E-15 and biodiesel, at its fueling stations. The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program grant is the first-of-its-kind in Kentucky and will increase demand for corn-based ethanol in the state.
“Anytime we can increase the amount of ethanol, we are increasing the amount of Kentucky-grown corn going into our economy,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Earlier this year I worked with our corn growers and the motor fuels industry to expand the sale of corn-based ethanol to all year long, which provides an additional market for our farm families. I’m grateful to Thorntons for its commitment to supporting our corn growers and I also want to thank USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Rebeckah Adcock and Rural Development State Director Hilda Legg for today’s announcement.”
“The $4.2 million USDA grant to Thorntons LLC and their partners will provide Kentucky customers with more choices at the pump while increasing the demand for Kentucky’s corn,” USDA Rural Development State Director Hilda Legg said. “We at Kentucky Rural Development applaud this partnership and look forward to seeing the positive impacts it will have on the rural communities across the commonwealth.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) is aimed at increasing the availability of higher blends of ethanol for consumers. HBIIP provides grants to transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities, reducing the out-of-pocket costs for businesses to install and/or upgrade fuel dispensers, infrastructure (including storage tanks and systems) and related equipment. Today’s grant announcement will help replace 290 dispensers at 34 fueling stations in Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee.In February 2020, the Kentucky General Assembly passed Senate Bill 94, which expanded the amount of time that E-15 gasoline can be sold to year-round and expanded market access for Kentucky corn growers. Senate Bill 94 was a legislative priority for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Corn Growers Association.