On June 26, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced plans to invest up to $500 million from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to increase the availability of domestic biofuels and give Americans additional cleaner fuel options at the pump.
The Inflation Reduction Act provides funding to USDA Rural Development to help eligible organizations invest in renewable energy infrastructure and zero-emission systems and make energy-efficiency improvements that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act is a historic investment that will expand clean energy, lower costs for Americans and build an economy that benefits working families and small businesses,” Vilsack said. “By expanding the availability of homegrown biofuels, we are strengthening our energy independence, creating new market opportunities and revenue streams for American producers and bringing good-paying jobs and other economic benefits to rural and farm communities.”
As the first state to require biodiesel use, Minnesota is tied for eighth among U.S. states in biodiesel production and, in 2022, biodiesel accounted for 8.1% of the $5.25 billion value of Minnesota’s 369.5 million bushels of soybeans.
“We have alternative fuels in a big way in Minnesota,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar. “This is such a significant step. Why look to the Middle East for energy when our Minnesota farmers can provide fuel from our backyard?”
Out of 59 announced projects, 18 of those projects were awarded to Minnesota, totaling $8.6 million invested in biofuel infrastructure throughout the state.
“The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) has been a fierce advocate for biodiesel for over 20 years,” said MSGA President Bob Worth. “This announcement validates the work we’ve been doing – and will continue to do – to expand the biodiesel industry, benefiting Minnesota soybean growers and their bottom lines.”
Farmers Cooperative Oil Company is one of the businesses receiving funding – $623,500 total – to replace nine E85 dispensers, two B20 dispensers, two ethanol storage tanks and two biodiesel storage tanks at a fueling station in Barnesville. The project is expected to increase annual sales of biofuels by nearly 122,000 gallons.
“Minnesota has long been a leader of biofuels,” said Sen. Tina Smith. “This is good news for farmers, consumers and a cleaner environment.”