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Workshops Will Highlight USDA Programs That Help Promote Greater Use of Biofuels
JEFFERSON CITY – Americans will soon have more choices at the gasoline pump, and rural ranchers and businesses will have more assistance to make energy efficiency improvements, USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Judith Canales said today.
“Grants are available to provide fuel station owners with incentives to install flexible fuel pumps that will offer Americans more renewable energy options,” Canales said. “I want to make certain that everyone is aware of the variety of assistance USDA Rural Development provides to help businesses create jobs and become energy more efficient. This assistance builds on the Obama Administration’s commitment to ‘Win the Future’ by ensuring the Nation develops innovative ways to meet our future energy needs.”
Canales kicked off a series of workshops USDA Rural Development will hold around the country during the next two months to highlight financing available for flexible-fuel pumps at gas stations and to highlight USDA support for renewable energy. The workshops also will focus on changes to the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) that make agriculture producers in non-rural areas eligible for REAP assistance. REAP grants may be used for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, energy audits and studies to determine the feasibility of renewable energy systems.
A Federal Register notice on the REAP program will be published in the near future. USDA Rural Development will meet with stakeholders to encourage retail flex-fuel installations and will work with state and local officials in the upcoming months to discuss the impact of the REAP program on businesses, communities and individuals.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of nearly $149 billion in loans and loan guarantees. Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov for additional information about the agency’s programs or to locate the USDA Rural Development office nearest you.