Fed to pay for increased ethanol fuel availability in Illinois


Funds will be directed towards increasing availability of fuel at gas pumps across the state.

U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin announced on Thursday the state of Illinois will receive funds to improve availability of ethanol-based biofuel at gas stations. The Department of Agriculture released the money as part of the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, which was initiated by the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. The program, which is intended to both reduce the economic impact of elevated oil prices and support farmers across the country, provides $500 million for the expansion of biofuel infrastructure across the country.

Fuel ethanol is produced from the processing of certain crops. Although wheat and other farm products are used in the refinement process, fuel ethanol is most closely associated with corn because of its high starch content. As a result, any increase in the consumption of ethanol fuels will mean an increase in the sales of corn.

“Ethanol blends reduce carbon emissions and fuel costs,” Durbin explained in his office’s press release relating to the funds. “It’s good for Illinois farmers, and it’s good for rural jobs.”

While increased sales of crop supports the farm industry, gasoline-ethanol fuel mixtures account for a cost savings of 25% against unblended fuel.

“At a time when Big Oil has been profiting off of hardworking Americans, increasing the availability of domestic biofuels is vital,” said Senator Duckworth.

“When we prioritize homegrown biofuels, we’re encouraging job growth, prioritizing our national security, reducing gas prices, protecting our environment and securing Illinois’s leadership in the energy sector for years to come. I’m proud to see the Inflation Reduction Act bringing this critical support to our state and helping Illinois’s working families.”

As noted in the Senators’ report to the press, the following companies and locations will benefit from the funds:

  • Casey’s General Store – nationwide total of $4,999,992. A portion of this funding will go toward installing E15 dispensers at Casey’s General Store gas station locations in Carbondale, East Peoria, and Nokomis, Illinois.

  • Piasa Enterprise, Inc. – total of $200,000. The full allotment of this funding will go toward installing two 30,000 gallon insulated biodiesel storage tanks and associated piping at the company’s location in Hartford, Illinois.

  • Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc. – a nationwide total of $4,943,820.  A portion of this funding will go toward creating infrastructure to expand the sales and use of renewable fuels, as well as retrofit E15 dispensers at gas stations in Williamsville, Ina, Kankakee, Dwight, Le Roy, Roscoe, and Greenville, and Utica, Illinois.

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