Bangor, Maine, May 16, 2013 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced payments to producers in 38 states to support the production of advanced biofuels. 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 support an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy,” Vilsack said. “Producing advanced biofuels is a major component of the drive to take control of America’s energy future by developing domestic, renewable energy sources.”
USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said, “Supporting our Maine wood pellet manufacturers is essential and helps to ensure the continued production of advanced biofuels from Maine’s abundant biomass resources. Wood pellets give Mainers the option of using an alternative to fossil fuel, helping to keep more money in their pockets. This is good for the local economy and the environment.”
In Maine, Geneva Wood Fuels, LLC, Maine Woods Pellet Company, LLC, and Northeast Pellets, LLC have been selected to receive payments through this important program.
• Geneva Wood Fuels, LLC, located in Strong, has been selected to receive a payment of $2,690 to produce wood pellets. This figure is based on their
FY 12 4th quarter production of 11,555 metric tons of pellets.
• Maine Woods Pellet Company, LLC, located in Athens, has been selected to receive a payment in the amount of $6,483 to produce wood pellets. This figure is based on their FY 12 4th quarter production of 27,846 metric tons of pellets.
• Northeast Pellets, LLC, located in Ashland, has been selected to receive a payment of $387. This figure is based on their FY 12 4th quarter production of 1,663 metric tons of pellets.
USDA Rural Development has supported all of Maine’s pellet manufacturers through this program, resulting in a total investment of $1,047,288 since FY 09.
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. Biofuel can be from a variety of non-food sources, including waste products.
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 the equivalent of more than 36 billion kilowatt hours of electric energy.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture today is announcing almost $14 million in payments to 162 advanced biofuel producers. To view a list of producers receiving payments of more than $500, click here: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/rdAdvancedBiofuelPaymentProgramChart.pdf
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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the 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).