By: Erin Voegele
Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, on April 28 announced the introduction of the Clean Fuels Deployment Act of 2020. The bill aims to provide funding for installing and converting fuel pump infrastructure to deliver higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.
The bipartisan legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Angie Craig, D-Minnesota; Don Bacon, R-Nebraska; and Roger Marshall, R-Kansas.
The bill authorizes $600 million over six years to help retailers offer higher ethanol blends, expand the geographic area selling ethanol blends, support biodiesel, Bioheat, and sustainable aviation fuel markets, and accelerate the deployment of fueling infrastructure.
The legislation directs the secretary of transportation to establish a grant program to award grants to eligible entities that will be used cover costs related to incentivizing deployment of fueling infrastructure; converting existing pump infrastructure to deliver ethanol blends of greater than 10 percent and biodiesel blends of greater than 20 percent; and the installation of fuel pumps and related infrastructure dedicated to the distribution of higher ethanol and biodiesel blends at fueling locations. Funding could also be provided to help build and retrofit traditional and pipeline terminals, including rail lines, to blend biodiesel, and to build and retrofit pipelines to carry ethanol and biodiesel.
The bill requires any infrastructure used or installed with funds provided under the program to be certified by Underwriters Laboratory to distribute blends with an ethanol content of 25 percent or greater.
Grants awarded under the program could cover up to 75 percent of the per pump cost for pumps that can dispense ethanol blends up to and including E85, and dedicated E15 and E85 pumps. Grants could be awarded to cover up to 50 percent of the terminal costs for terminals with B100 capabilities, and up to 25 percent of the per tank cost for new storage tanks and related equipment associated with new facilities or additional capacity, other than replacement.
The bill authorizes $100 million each for fiscal years 2021 through 2026 to support the grant program.