Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Charts Renewable Energy Future of Rural America at Next-Generation Biofuels Facility in Iowa Print
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications Office   
Monday, 18 April 2011 13:15

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack traveled to Shenandoah, Iowa, today where he spoke about building a cleaner, safer, and more secure energy future – one that ultimately breaks our dependence on foreign oil and moves our nation toward a clean energy economy that creates jobs and keeps America competitive.

At the grand opening of the BioProcess Algae Bioreactor Project – a facility owned by Green Plains Renewable Energy – Vilsack said USDA was focused on stimulating growth, creating jobs, and setting in place a framework for a robust future for the rural economy, which includes support of next-generation renewable energy, such as alternative feedstocks.

"USDA is helping our nation develop the next generation of biofuels to grow jobs and generate energy from new, homegrown sources," said Vilsack. "In the past two years, USDA has worked to help our nation develop a national biofuels economy and make that vision a reality. This cutting-edge facility here in Iowa, and others like it across rural America, is using waste heat, water and carbon dioxide from ethanol production and looking at advanced technologies which could eventually be used as energy. It is the kind of innovation we need to build an economy that continues to grow and out-compete the rest of the world."

President Obama is committed to reducing our net imports of oil by one-third by 2025. The United States holds only 2 percent of proven oil resources, and we consume about 25 percent of world's supply. The production of cleaner and more efficient fuels, produced domestically, will help to make America's energy supply more secure by permanently reducing our dependence on oil. USDA is doing research into new biofuel production methods and has established five regional research centers working on the science necessary to ensure biofuels can be produced profitably from a diverse range of feedstocks. And USDA is offering support to build the infrastructure needed to deliver the fuel to consumers at the gas station.

In Shenandoah, Vilsack also spoke at the Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Association's Annual Meeting, where shared rural America's vision for a strong economic future that relies on home-grown energy to power America's cars and trucks. The domestic biofuels industry, said Vilsack, has produced hundreds of refineries, pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the American economy and created hundreds of thousands of jobs in our rural communities.


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