The key to increasing ethanol demand is to get more renewable fuel into the tanks of Hoosier motorists. Under a grant program administered by the Indiana Office of Energy Development (OED), funded by the USDA, and matched by the Indiana Corn Checkoff, more and more fuel locations will be offering a 15% or higher blend of ethanol. Last week it was announced that $268,000 will be shared among three companies for the first round of the Hoosier Homegrown Fuels Blender Pump Program.
Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb, who announced the awards at the Indiana Ethanol Forum, says this is part of an effort to increase renewable fuel use in Indiana, “We are not only an ethanol state but a pro-ethanol state. This is about supporting our farm economy and providing choice for our consumers.” He said this public/private partnership will not only help get more ethanol into the marketplace but will help make Hoosier motorists more aware of the energy component of Indiana agriculture, “Seeing these pumps at their local fuel stations will not only give Hoosiers a choice but will make them more aware of the renewable fuels sector of our state.”
Holcomb praised Indiana corn growers for taking the lead and helping to fund this new program. “We are proud to work with our partners to support Hoosier consumers, farmers, and retailers by expanding access to homegrown biofuels,” said OED Director Tristan Vance. “We look forward to working closely with ICMC, ISDA, the Greater Indiana Clean Cities and South Shore Clean Cities Office to give Indiana drivers options at the pump based on fuel price, performance, or preference.”‖
“Indiana corn farmers appreciate the opportunity to work with OED, ISDA, USDA, and our fuel retailers to provide consumers with easier access to Indiana’s homegrown, sustainable fuel,” said David Gottbrath, Indiana Corn Marketing Council president and farmer from Washington County. “We look forward to the opening of these flex fuel pumps across the state in the coming months.”
The grant program is also in partnership with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Greater Indiana Clean Cities, and South Shore Clean Cities who assisted in scoring the applications and provided outreach support. ICMC saw an opportunity through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership to leverage state corn checkoff funds and partner with other organizations to expand ethanol’s availability to the roughly 450,000 Hoosiers throughout the state who drive Flex Fuel.
The three companies who received the funding are:
Thorntons – installing 4 pumps in Floyd and Clark counties
Speedway – installing 3 pumps in Lake Marion and Delaware counties
Coop Fuel (not connected with CountryMark) – installing 21 pumps in
Miami, Grant, Jay, Whitley, Adams, Lawrence, Wayne, Putnam, Clark, and Dubois Counties.