Omaha, Neb, Sep 12, 2013 -- Contact:
Candice Celestin (202) 690-2385
USDA Announces Support for Producers of Advanced Biofuel
Wisconsin Leads the Nation with 22 Funded Projects
OMAHA, Neb., Sept. 12, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the Department is making payments to support the production of advanced biofuel. USDA is making nearly $15.5 million in payments to 188 producers through the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program. USDA Rural Development Acting Under Secretary Doug O’Brien made the announcement on Vilsack’s behalf in Omaha, Neb., at the National Advanced Biofuels Conference.
The United States Department of Agriculture 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.
“Producing advanced biofuels is a major component of the drive to take control of America’s energy future by developing domestic, renewable energy sources,” O’Brien said. “These payments represent the Obama Administration’s commitment to support an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy.”
The funding is being provided through USDA’s Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, 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; vegetable oil; and animal fat. Biofuel can be from a variety of non-food sources, including waste products.
O’Brien noted that today’s announcement serves as another reminder of the importance of USDA programs for rural America and a reminder of the need for Congress to get a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill done as soon as possible. Job seekers in rural America need new and expanded investments in renewable energy, biofuel and bio-based product manufacturing – all of which can help create jobs in rural areas, O’Brien said.
Through the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program and other USDA programs, the Department 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 290 producers in 47 states and territories have received $211 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. Wisconsin leads the nation with 22 funded projects, totaling $83,438 in payments.
For example, Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, LLC, a Kewaunee-based company in Northeast Wisconsin, will be receiving a $3,075 payment to help offset the cost of producing electricity from an anaerobic digester. The digester uses manure from the company’s dairy operations to produce electricity. Since its installation, the digester has produced more than 4.2 million kilowatt hours, enough to power both Kewaunee and its neighboring village, Casco.
SunPower Biodiesel, LLC in Cumberland, Wisc., is receiving a $3,545 payment for its production of biodiesel from a variety of sources, including canola oil. The biodiesel reduces emissions and is primarily used as an alternative to diesel fuel.
View the list of producers receiving payments of more than $500.
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 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).