WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12) announced today that 10 Southern Illinois counties will receive a combined $1.2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to fortify rural energy. 

"Biofuels and renewable energy are key components to ensuring America's energy independence," said Bost. "Farmers in Southern Illinois have experienced increased uncertainty over the last two years, but grants like these are a crucial step in ensuring that biofuels remain a part of America's fuel supply. I support an 'all-of-the-above' approach to meeting our energy needs and will continue to fight for energy resilience and reliability in Southern Illinois."  

Bost authored a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture in support of robust funding for rural energy programs, helping secure more than double the funding from the previous year for the REAP program. This increase will continue to help small businesses and agricultural producers in rural areas invest in renewable energy and efficiency improvements for their operations.

The REAP grants were awarded to Clark, Clay, Gallatin, Hamilton, Richland, Saline, St. Clair, Union, Washington, and White counties. The USDA also approved a $481,768 grant under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program to retrofit dispensers for E15 at fueling stations across the nation, including in Jefferson, Clark, and Williamson counties.