Dallas Tonsager, Undersecretary for Rural Development at USDA, says that the Obama administration is working diligently towards energy independence, and they’re making a case for what they feel like would be a huge step towards achieving that goal:
“We’re making the case for a national biofuels industry. The president - the administration - we really believe that that opportunity is enormous and it should be for the entire country.”
And USDA is doing everything they can to facilitate this goal:
“So, we’re doing every thing we can to plant seeds, as far as creating feasibility studies, business plans to invest in, we’re looking for every opportunity because it’s strategically important to the country to have a fuel source within the United States, it’s extremely important for rural America thjat we create a green energy source, one that is produced form the stuff we grow, waste materials that we’ve not used, so just as an economic opportunity, as a strategic opportunity we’re trying to press the idea that this material, this opportunity is for everybody in the country.”
Tonsager says that it’s important to point out that each region of the country will have it’s own contribution to the renewable fuels effort:
“I think it would be foolish to try and press one approach to the whole country. It’s much better to recognize that we have different opportunities in different parts of the country and look for ways scientifically, economically, socially, to advance the cause as each region's best suited materials present themselves.”
Tonsager says that there are several financial programs for the development or advancement of renewable fuels:
“We have several programs given to us by congress in the last farm bill. We have a program that’s making direct payments for advanced biofuels. First generation is corn-based ethanol, second generation is materials other than corn used for ethanol, and third generation are advanced biofuels.”
To find out more, contact your local rural development office.
Dallas Tonsager, USDA Undersecretary for Rural Development.