East Hartford, Conn., Aug 05, 2013 -- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Special Assistant for Energy Programs Todd Campbell today joined Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. John B. Larson to announce funding for a study to determine the feasibility of constructing a renewable jet fuel production facility in rural North Central Connecticut. If built, the facility could use biomass from farms and other sources, and municipal solid waste as feedstocks. The USDA grant is being provided to the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT).
“USDA is committed to promoting production of energy from renewable resources,” Campbell said. “If the results of the study are favorable, the proposed fuel production facility will boost the economy of the region, create jobs and could open the door for other ventures.”
Campbell said jet fuel, diesel fuel and heating oil could be produced at the facility and then sold to customers at nearby airports and communities. The $100,000 grant is provided through the USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program. It includes a $20,000 in-kind contribution from CCAT and three partners. The feasibility study is expected to be completed by July 2014.
The RBEG program provides grants for projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging businesses. Today’s announcement is another reminder of the importance of USDA programs such as RBEG to rural America. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently said a comprehensive new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill will further expand the rural economy and ensure the continuance of such initiatives.
USDA support for aviation biofuels, often referred to as the “Farm-to-Fly” initiative, brings together the aviation community, the Federal Aviation Administration and USDA – all of which have expressed unified support for President Obama’s goals of environmental stewardship and energy independence. This commitment also includes the implementation of programs and incentives to help American farmers produce feedstocks that can be converted into affordable and sustainable aviation biofuels.
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.
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