Disappointment that President Obama’s EPA has apparently chosen not to end its final year on a stronger note for biofuels was palpable–a sharp contrast to stakeholder enthusiasm for the Obama Department of Agriculture. Five thousand higher-blend fuel pumps and storage tanks are currently under construction at 1400 stations across 21 states as a result of USDA’s Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP), finalized last fall with $100 million in competitive federal grants and $110 million in matching dollars from state and private partners. The reception was such that EPA officials felt compelled to repeatedly emphasize the extent of their “ongoing cooperation” with USDA in today’s hearing.
The President’s FY17 USDA budget request includes $43 million for increasing biofuel demand along BIP lines, earmarked through the Farm Service Agency’s Commodity Credit Corporation (which supplied last year’s funds). More information is available here.