News Release
Release No.STELPRD4019351
ContactDarin Leach515-284-4747
Agriculture Under Secretary Tonsager Underscores Important Role Renewable Fuels Play in President’s Energy Strategy
Altoona, Iowa, Jan 30, 2013 --

@@Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager today addressed participants attending the 7th annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit, in Altoona.

During his presentation, Tonsager underscored the important role renewable fuels play in President Obama’s “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, which is designed to reduce America’s reliance on foreign oil.

Tonsager said the U.S. cut net oil imports by 10 percent, or one million barrels a day, in 2012.

“As domestic oil production expands we will also need to blend it with our domestically produced biofuels, whether cellulosic ethanol or drop in, biodiesel or aviation, and the sooner the better,” Tonsager added.

The Renewable Fuel Standard, with a goal to use at least 36 billion gallons of bio-based transportation fuels by 2022, lays the foundation for reducing imported petroleum, and encouraging the development and expansion of our nation’s renewable fuels sector.

“Midwestern renewable fuels are helping to pave the way toward our goal of solidifying and enhancing a renewable energy future,” Tonsager said.  “I look forward to a continued partnership to build a stronger rural economy, and a cleaner, more secure energy future.”

This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,600 jobs, aided 2,400 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 60 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.

USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas.  Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by calling the Indianola office at (515) 961-5365 Ext. 4 or by visiting the agency’s web site at

USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity lender with a variety of grant and direct and guaranteed loan programs for single and multi-family housing, community facilities, water and sewer development and business and industry programs.

For additional information on Rural Development projects, please visit Rural Development’s new

interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for the past four fiscal years.

The data can be found at:

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, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the

way – strengthening America's economy, 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


President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of 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 $176 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.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA,

Office ofthe Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW,

Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339

(Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).