WASHINGTON, Jul 27, 2012 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced payments for 125 advanced Biofuel producers across the country to support the production and expansion of advanced biofuels from a wide variety of sources, including waste products.
Included with these recipients, Pacific Biodiesel received an Advanced Biofuel Producer payment of $28,646.80. Pacific Biodiesel LLC produces biodiesel using used cooking oil and grease trap oil collected from landfills across the State of Hawaii. They presently operate biofuel refineries on Oahu, Maui and recently opened a refinery in Keaau, Hawaii. This newest refinery will produce 5 – 6 million gallons of biofuel and will contribute to the Hawaii's job growth.
"Advanced biofuels are a key component of President Obama's 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy to reduce the Nation's reliance on foreign oil and take control of America's energy future," said Vilsack. "These payments represent the hard work the private sector is doing to help spur an alternative fuels industry using renewable feedstocks, and help create an economy built to last."
"In support of President Obama's initiative in reducing the Country's reliance of fossil fuels and the State of Hawaii's Clean Energy Initiative, we have been very successful in providing financial assistance to local businesses and farmers producing renewable energy resources," said Chris Kanazawa, USDA Rural Development Hawaii State Director. Since 2010, Rural Development has provided over $1 million in grants and loans for 24 renewable energy projects throughout the State of Hawaii."
The funding is being provided through USDA's Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels. Under this program, payments are made to eligible producers based on the amount of biofuels a recipient produces from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch. Examples of eligible feedstocks include but are not limited to: crop residue; animal, food and yard waste material; vegetable oil; and animal fat. Through this and other programs, USDA is working to support the research, investment and infrastructure necessary to build a biofuels industry that creates jobs and conserves America's natural resources.
It is important to note that increased biofuel production plays a relatively minor role in retail food price changes. The diversity of feedstock used to produce biodiesel allows for flexibility and helps relieve market pressures. Biodiesel is made from an increasingly diverse mix of feedstocks, including recycled cooking oil, agricultural oils such as soybean and canola oil, and animal fats, allowing most biodiesel producers to select from a choice of feedstocks if prices rise or supplies are short. Therefore, the industry's impact in commodity markets is significantly reduced. As the market expands for home-grown renewable energy, farmers and producers will create even more good-paying American jobs that can't be exported. The biofuels industry in the U.S. currently employs about 400,000 people and is expected to employ around a million people in the U.S. by 2022.
The Obama administration, with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's leadership, has worked tirelessly to strengthen rural America, maintain a strong farm safety net, and create opportunities for America's farmers and ranchers. U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its most productive periods in American history thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of our producers.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, business and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy and strengthening small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of existing Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
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