Senators Durbin, Kirk back Illinois push for federal funding to aid biofuel efforts
U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) wrote to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Thursday to express their support for Illinois’ application for additional federal funding to advance the deployment of biofuel infrastructure across the state.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making up to $100 million available in competitive grants to states that are testing innovative ways to distribute higher blends of renewable fuel.
“The continued advancement of biofuels in Illinois helps support a strong agricultural economy,” Durbin and Kirk wrote. “The state’s 14 ethanol plants have an annual production capacity of 1.4 billion gallons, representing nearly 10 percent of U.S. capacity. The ethanol industry in Illinois supports more than 70,000 jobs, paying out $4.7 billion in annual wages and creating $17.5 billion in annual economic output. With the potential to support additional good-paying jobs across the state and the promise of more affordable fueling options for consumers in Illinois, we strongly support DCEO’s (Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity) grant application.”