What is in this article?:
- USDA to oversee programs to push biofuels, revitalize rural America.
- Will make use of new technologies, new markets.
- Will push new research and development, variety of feedstocks.
- Five regional biofuel centers planned.
“Revitalize rural America” has been a mantra uttered by the Obama administration almost since its inception. On Thursday morning, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack revealed the centerpiece of that effort to be biofuels.
“The approach at the heart of the President’s vision - which combines new technologies, new markets, and better use of our natural resources - is our nation’s capacity to reduce its dependence on imported oil and fossil fuels through the increased production and use of biofuels and renewable energy,” said Vilsack at the Press Club in Washington, D.C.
The reward for investing in renewable fuels “outweighs the risk associated with the investment. The reward includes less reliance on foreign oil. We won’t have to necessarily spend as much in countries that don’t agree with us or like us.”
Estimates are that by 2035 the United States’ energy consumption will increase by another 50 percent. Further, without changes, statistics show the nation’s appetite for imported oil will remain ravenous. “Thirty years ago, 28 percent of the oil consumed in the United States was imported. Today, that figure is closer to 60 percent.”
Daily, the United States spends $1 billion dollars on oil from “outside our shores helping other countries’ economies to grow while our economy recovers from a deep recession.
“We can do better. We have to do better. Rural America is where we will do better.”