USDA to host Advanced Biofuel Roundtable
Apr. 9, 2012, Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Energy and the Navy will co-host an Advanced Biofuels Industry Roundtable in Washington D.C. on May 18, 2012 on producing advanced biofuels to power military and commercial transportation with the private sector.
Apr. 9, 2012, Washington, DC – The U.S. Department of Agriculture – along with the Department of
Energy, and the Department of Navy – will co-host an Advanced Biofuels
Industry Roundtable in Washington D.C. on May 18, 2012 as the next step
in the partnership with the private sector to produce advanced biofuels
to power military and commercial transportation. Agriculture Secretary
Tom Vilsack made the announcement today during his keynote address to
the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference.
"Advanced biofuels are a key component of President Obama's
'all-of-the-above' energy strategy to limit the impact that foreign oil
has on our economy and take control of our energy future," said
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "By bringing together farmers,
scientists, and the private sector to produce fuel for the American
military, we can help spur an industry producing biofuels from non-food
feedstocks all over the nation, strengthen our middle class, and help
create an economy built to last."
"The Biofuels Industry Roundtable will produce the market and industry
expertise necessary to develop a domestic biofuel market capable of
producing alternative fuel that is cost-competitive with traditional
fuel," stated Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "The Departments of
Navy, Agriculture, and Energy are investing in an existing private
industry to spur growth, and each department will closely monitor how
that investment is used to achieve the president's objectives."
The May 18, 2012 roundtable will focus on efforts to accelerate the
production of bio-based fuels for military and commercial purposes. Last
year, USDA, and the Departments of Energy and the Navy announced that –
through the Defense Production Act – they will collaborate to
accelerate the development of advanced, drop-in aviation and marine
biofuels and marine diesel to help power our military. Participants in
this roundtable will discuss next steps for those interested in pursuing
the production of aviation biofuels and marine diesel. Topics will
include production, distribution and contracting, and best practices.
This roundtable follows a "match making" event hosted last week at USDA
headquarters to promote connections between agricultural producers of
energy feedstocks, and biorefineries.
In 2008, America imported 11 million barrels of oil a day. By the end of
last year, that number dropped to 8.4 million barrels per day. In the
last year alone, in part because of booming U.S. oil and gas production,
more efficient cars and trucks, and a world-class refining sector that
last year was a net exporter for the first time in sixty years, we have
cut net imports by ten percent – a million barrels a day. And with the
new fuel economy standards the President announced last year, we are on
pace to meet our goal by the end of the decade. Developing advanced
drop-in biofuels is another part of this comprehensive strategy to
reduce America's dependence of foreign oil.
As part of that strategy, and at Secretary Vilsack's direction, USDA is
working to develop the national biofuels industry producing energy from
non-food sources in every region of the country. We are conducting and
encouraging research into innovative new energy technologies and
processes, helping companies build biorefineries – including the first
ever commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facilities – and supporting
farmers, ranchers, and businesses taking risks to pursue new
opportunities in biofuels. Along with Federal partners, we're
establishing an aviation biofuels economy, and have expedited rules and
efforts to promote production and commercialization of biofuels.