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Jay Fletcher (202) 690-0498
USDA Rural Development Kicks Off Workshops and Events on Flex-Fuel Options,
Availability of Renewable Energy Assistance
Workshops and Events Highlight USDA Programs That Help Promote Greater Use of Biofuels
ST. JOSEPH, MO., April 12, 2011 – Americans will soon have more choices at the gasoline pump, and 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 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 was in Missouri today to kick off a series of workshops and events on renewable energy. She met with stakeholders in Jefferson City to discuss USDA programs to support biofuels programs throughout Missouri and toured a pilot cellulosic ethanol plant under construction in St. Joseph. Canales plans to visit Kansas Wednesday to meet with officials and others at Kansas State University.
This week’s activities will be followed by workshops and events USDA Rural Development state offices 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 will focus on USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). 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 elected Tribal officials in the upcoming months to discuss the impact of the REAP program on Tribal governments, communities and individuals.
For information on upcoming events and meetings, contact your nearest USDA Rural Development state office. A list of these offices is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/StateOfficeAddresses.html.
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.
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