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Illinois Fuel Stations Receive $10 Million Through USDA Rural Development ‘Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program’

Jenny Warning
Release Date

Champaign, IL, Jan. 12, 2024 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Illinois State Director Betsy Dirksen Londrigan announced today that USDA is awarding $10 million to U.S. business owners for fuel station investments to increase the availability of domestic biofuels and give Americans cleaner, more affordable fuel options at gas station pumps. 

Blending ethanol into gasoline has helped reduce fuel costs by approximately 25 percent, contributing to falling gas prices across the country. Gas prices are now under $2.99 in more than half of U.S. states and saving the average driver more than $100 per month relative to peak prices. HBIIP increases the number of Americans that benefit from falling prices by expanding the use of ethanol-based fuels at gas stations around the nation.  

The Department is making the awards through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), made possible with funding from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.   

“It’s important we give rural Americans resources to produce and use cleaner energy while supporting an economy that benefits working families”, Dirksen Londrigan said. “Increasing biofuel supply means lowering fuel costs for American families and generating new revenue streams for agricultural producers; both key elements in supporting our small towns and communities.”  

Through this most recent tranche of awards, business owners are receiving $10 million to expand access to domestic biofuels and strengthen America’s energy independence. For example: 

  • Piasa Enterprises Inc. will use a $200,000 grant to install two 30,000-gallon biodiesel storage tanks and associated piping at their Hartford, Illinois fuel distribution center. The company projects an increase in the amount of biodiesel sold by 2 million gallons per year. 

  • Casey’s General Stores Inc received a $4.9 million investment to install 456 E15 dispensers across 111 fueling stations in 5 states, including 3 located in IL: Carbondale, East Peoria, and Nokomis.   

  • Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores Inc received a $4.9 million investment to install 704 E15 dispensers across 88 fueling stations in 17 states, including 7 fueling stations located in IL: Williamsville, Ina, Kankakee, Dwight, Le Roy, Roscoe, and Greensville.  

Background: Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program  

The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) provides grants to fueling station and distribution facility owners, including marine, rail, and home heating oil facilities, to help expand access to domestic biofuels, a clean and affordable source of energy. These investments help business owners install and upgrade infrastructure such as fuel pumps, dispensers and storage tanks. Expanding the availability of homegrown biofuels strengthens energy independence, creates new revenue for American businesses and brings good-paying jobs to rural communities. 

In June 2023, USDA made $450 million available in Inflation Reduction Act funding through the HBIIP to expand the use and availability of higher-blend biofuels. That same month, USDA also announced the first round of Inflation Reduction Act-funded HBIIP awardees. 

USDA continues to accept applications for funding to expand access to domestic biofuels. These grants will support the infrastructure needed to reduce out-of-pocket costs for transportation fueling and distribution facilities to install and upgrade biofuel-related infrastructure such as pumps, dispensers and storage tanks. There are three quarterly application windows left, and the program ends Sept. 30, 2024. The next application deadline is March 31, 2024. 

For more information, go to the HBIIP webpage

Background: Inflation Reduction Act 

This announcement is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to grow the American economy from the middle out and bottom up by rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, driving over $640 billion in private-sector manufacturing investments, creating good-paying jobs and building a clean-energy economy to tackle the climate crisis and make our communities more resilient. 

For more information on the Inflation Reduction Act, visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/inflation-reduction-act.  

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov

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