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April 13, 2022

Trone, USDA official highlight alternative fuel use

Credit: Frederick News-Post, Ryan Marshall

U.S. Rep. David Trone enjoys highlighting his district to officials from the executive branch.

In September, the two-term congressman brought U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh to tour the Frederick County Career and Technology Center, and in October, Trone and U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough visited the site of a veterans center in Frederick.

On Tuesday, Trone, D-Dist. 6, played host to U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small to events in Washington, Frederick and Montgomery counties, including a visit to a townhouse in Spring Ridge that was bought through the Interfaith Housing Alliance through a USDA rural development grant.

Trone and Torres Small’s second stop in Frederick was at a Royal Farms store along Monocacy Boulevard, where they promoted a USDA grant program to increase the use of renewable fuels.

The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program will install 110 pumps at 17 stations in Maryland and Delaware, with an aim to increase the amount of ethanol — a fuel additive made from corn and other plant materials — by more than 40 million gallons a year.

By increasing infrastructure for increased sales of renewable fuels, the program both lowers costs and increases energy independence, as well as supports the Biden administration’s goal of reducing emissions and fighting climate change, Torres Small said.

Despite increased costs for an extra storage tank and pumps, Royal Farms thought it was a product that could set them apart from their competition, said Tom Ruszin, the company’s fuel and environmental leader.

With Russia’s war in Ukraine affecting the flow of Russian oil and Saudi Arabia not producing more, the U.S. can’t control the global gas situation, Trone said.

“We live in a world market,” he said.