USDA TO BOOST BIOFUELS
By James P. Tucker Jr.
The Obama administration is undertaking a massive effort to promote the use of alternative fuels in motor vehicles as a means of gaining energy independence, farm prosperity, job creation and economic improvements, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Oct. 21.
“Domestic production of renewable energy, including biofuels, is a national imperative and that’s why USDA is working to assist in developing a biofuels industry in every corner of the nation,” Vilsack said in a meeting with reporters at the National Press Club in Washington. “By producing more biofuels in America, we will create jobs, combat global warming, replace our dependence on foreign oil and build a stronger foundation for the economy.”
While the claim that “global warming” is caused by industrialization has been largely debunked, Vilsack said a final rule to implement the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) will be published. Under the BCAP final rule, USDA will resume making payments to eligible producers. The program had operated as a pilot, pending publication of the final rule.
BCAP was authorized by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008. It is intended to ensure that a sufficiently large base of new, non-food, non-feed biomass crops is established to meet future demand for renewable energy.
“The Obama administration is aggressively supporting our nation’s farmers, ranchers and producers of biofuels as they work to bring greater energy independence to America,“ Vilsack said. “BCAP will help the nation’s power, bio-based product, and advanced biofuel industries produce energy from sustainable rural resources and create jobs that will stimulate rural economies across the nation.”
Vilsack said the BCAP final regulation reflects policies developed as a result of more than 24,000 comments received on previous Federal Register notices and knowledge gained by implementing a portion of the program in 2009.
Vilsack also announced a five-year agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration to develop fuel from forest and crop residues and other “green” feedstocks in order to reduce dependence on foreign oil and stabilize aviation fuel costs. Under the partnership, the agencies will bring together their experience in research, policy analysis and air transportation sector dynamics to assess the availability of different kinds of feedstocks that could be processed by bio-refineries to produce jet fuels.
Vilsack said that a department report found that the biofuels industry becomes more productive as cost-reducing technology is applied, which results in higher wages for workers. Gains in gross domestic product and real income are driven largely by technological progress in biofuels, which increases economic productivity. The next generation of biofuels is expected to be a decreasing-cost industry, meaning the cost of producing ethanol will drop.
AFP editor James P. Tucker Jr. is a veteran journalist who spent many years as a member of the “elite” media in Washington. Since 1975 he has won widespread recognition, here and abroad, for his pursuit of on-the-scene stories reporting the intrigues of global power blocs such as the Bilderberg Group. Tucker is the author of Jim Tucker’s Bilderberg Diary: One Man’s 25-Year Battle to Shine the Light on the World Shadow Government. Bound in an attractive full-color softcover and containing 272 pages—loaded with photos, many never published before—the book recounts Tucker’s experiences over the last quarter century at Bilderberg meetings. $25 from AFP. No charge for S&H in U.S.
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(Issue # 45, November 8, 2010)