Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA will make payments to more than 160 energy producers in 41 states to support and ensure the production and expansion of advanced biofuels.
"Renewable energy production will create tens of thousands of direct, American jobs; thousands more indirect jobs, and clean electricity to power millions of homes. The payments I am announcing today represent the continuing commitment of the Obama administration to work with producers to provide the biofuel necessary to reduce our nation's dependence on foreign energy sources," Vilsack said. "The payments support America's growing advanced biofuel industry."
The payments are authorized under the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels (Section 9005 of the 2008 Farm Bill) and are made to eligible producers to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels. Payments are based on the amount of biofuels a recipient produces from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch. Eligible examples include biofuels derived from cellulose, crop residue, animal, food and yard waste material, biogas (landfill and sewage waste treatment gas), vegetable oil and animal fat.
The National Biodiesel Board was very pleased by the announcement. Biodiesel meets the Environmental Protection Agency's definition of an advanced biofuel, and is produced in nearly every state in the country and will support more than 31,000 U.S. jobs in 2011 while replacing nearly 1 billion gallons of petroleum diesel.
"These payments will create jobs and economic activity while helping the biodiesel industry advance new technologies and improve efficiency," said Anne Steckel, NBB's vice president of federal affairs. "It's another example of this administration's strong commitment to boosting domestic production of advanced biofuels and securing our energy future."
Some of the projects being funded include a $98,507 contract payment to Ever Cat Fuels in Isanti, Minn., to offset production of 881,000 gallons of biodiesel and create 20 new full-time jobs. Also Corinth Wood Pellets in Maine will receive $31,406 to continue producing premium grade wood pellets used as an alternative heat source.
To see a full list of the recipients announced click here.