LE ROY, Ill. (NEXSTAR)- Federal officials are promoting a plan that they think will help save the environment and consumers money at the gas pump.
U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, alongside U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), publicized a $500 million investment Tuesday into biofuel technology at a gas station in Le Roy. Biofuel uses both corn and soy to make a fuel that can be used in vehicles.
The investment in biofuel technology is a part of the Inflation Reduction Act. The money will help 1,000 gas stations to start offering biofuels.
“The goal of this federal policy is to make gas pumps like this one more common across the entire country,” Vilsack said.
Biofuel is usually cheaper than oil-based gas. The station Vilsack and Duckworth visited had an ethanol-85 option over a dollar cheaper than regular unleaded gas. Only cars designated to use flex-fuel can use it.
Many gas stations also offer an ethanol-unleaded blend option. At that same station, the blend was 20 cents cheaper, and experts say any car made after 2001 can use that fuel.
Farming experts say one bushel of corn can produce 3 gallons of ethanol.
“It’s just been a real efficient way to get the most out of a bushel of corn,” Marty Marr of Illinois Corn Grower’s Association said.
Duckworth pointed out that not only can Illinois drivers use the biofuels but farmers can export their crops to be sold for biofuel in other states and countries.
“I want us to lead the world in selling them good American-grown ethanol that we’re going to sell out to the rest of the world instead of us bringing in and purchasing oil from countries like Saudi Arabia and the like,” Duckworth said.
And agricultural experts have found ways to produce biofuels to lower greenhouse emissions through a process called carbon capture and sequestration.
“We can actually start putting carbon back into the earth that we’ve been extracting through petroleum products,” Duckworth said.