Temple, Texas, May 16, 2013 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced payments for 162 producers that will support the production and expansion of advanced biofuels from a variety of non-food sources, including waste products. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
“These payments represent the Obama administration’s commitment to develop an energy strategy that reduces America’s dependence on fossil fuels and foreign energy,” Vilsack said. “Producing advanced biofuels is a major component of the President’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy that is designed to take control of America’s energy future, in part, by developing domestic, renewable energy sources.’
The funding is being provided through USDA’s Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, which was established in the 2008 Farm Bill. Under this program, payments are made to eligible producers based on the amount of advanced biofuels produced 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.
“The Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels is building the foundation for a clean energy economy and protecting our environment while making America less dependent on foreign and fossil fuels and increasing rural economic growth,” said Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development Texas State Director.
Through this and other programs, USDA is working to support the research, investment and infrastructure necessary to build a strong biofuels industry that creates jobs and broadens the range of feedstocks used to produce renewable fuel. More than 280 producers in 45 states and territories have received $192.5 million in payments since the program’s inception. It has supported the production of more than 3 billion gallons of advanced biofuel, and more than 36 billion kilowatt hours of electric energy.
For example, Green Earth Fuels of Houston, LLC produces biodiesel from animal fat and soybean oil. Since 2011, the payments have helped offset the costs associated with producing more than 39 million gallons of biodiesel.
Beacon Energy Corporation, now known as Delek Renewables, LLC, of Cleburne, Texas produces biodiesel from animal fats, soybean oil and yellow grease. This project produced nearly 1.5 million gallons of biodiesel during the 4th Quarter of Fiscal year 2012.
ME Bio Energy, LLC, headquartered in Tarrant County, Texas, has also received payment for its facility in Missouri which has a maximum capacity to produce 5 million gallons of biodiesel per year from animal fat.
Biodiesel is made from an increasingly diverse mix of non-food feedstocks, including used cooking oil, agricultural oils and animal fats.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture today is announcing almost $14 million in payments to 162 advanced biofuel producers. Please for a list of the producers (by state) receiving payments of more than $500 for production of advanced biofuels: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/rdAdvancedBiofuelPaymentProgramChart.pdf. Producers receiving payments of $500 or less are not included in the list.
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 values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary 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 a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.