A top level official from the USDA Rural Development agency visited the Missouri State Fair last week to recognize Missouri as the national leader in renewable energy.
Through a program with USDA Rural Development and a partnership with the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives and the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri fuel retailers have been approved to install 26 biofuel pumps -- more than any other state in the nation.
"It's the Show-Me State and they're showing us alright," USDA Rural Development Business Program Administrator Judy Canales said during a speech at the Missouri Corn booth. "In the long run, this is going to be a locally grown product that is creating and keeping jobs in rural communities. That's why we're so pleased to have this partnership with Missouri Corn."
USDA Rural Development, through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), administers grants to provide fuel station owners with incentives to install blender pumps that will offer Americans more renewable fuel choices. On Wednesday, Aug. 17, Canales made a stop at Platte-Clay Fuels LLC in Kearney. An affiliate of Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, the station now has a blender pump funded in part by the REAP program, Growth Energy and MCMC.
"Missouri Corn is leading the charge in growing Missouri's use of renewable fuels and giving consumers choices at the pump," noted Missouri Corn Director of Ethanol Policy Bradley Schad. "By providing these ethanol options, consumers can now choose a lower cost fuel alternative for their vehicle while supporting Missouri's rural economy, keeping dollars here at home and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. We commend the USDA for their efforts to expand the availability of biofuels for consumers."
Furthering the efforts, MCMC is also offering fuel retailers across the state incentives to install blender pumps. To date, MCMC has assisted with the installation of three blender pumps in Jefferson City, one blender pump in Kearney, and one in Platte City. Plans are underway for five additional blender pumps to be in place by the end of the year. MCMC also works to help educate retailers and consumers on the benefits of ethanol and the different blends available.
While gas stations make it easy for motorists to choose between regular and super grade petroleum at the pump, few stations allow motorists to make a similar choice when it comes to a blend of ethanol and petroleum. Blender pumps are specifically designed to dispense ethanol-blended gasoline, ranging from unleaded gasoline to up 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline (E85). They also dispense mid-level ethanol blends such as E15, E20 and E30.
"Missouri's unique team is leading the nation in applications, but more importantly, in actually making this work," Canales said. "But this is not the end of a campaign. This is step one. Our goal is 10,000 blender pumps over the next five years. So, we've got to continue with this effort. And with these tools and with this wonderful partnership we're going to get it done. And we'll get it done here in Missouri."
To learn more about the state's blender pumps and ethanol production, visit www.mocorn.org
Source: Missouri Corn Merchandising Council