Growth Energy: USDA Efforts to Advance Biofuels Right Step for Economy, Environment

WASHINGTON, DC – The funding for ethanol infrastructure and biofuels announced today by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – particularly funding for the Biorefinery Assistance Program – will benefit every American by creating more jobs, cleaning the air, and strengthening our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, according to a statement by Growth Energy, the leading voice for U.S. ethanol supporters and producers.

In an afternoon press briefing, Secretary Vilsack announced funding for new biorefinery projects under the 2008 Farm Bill’s Biorefinery Assistance Program and that USDA has provided funding to recipients in 33 states to support the production and usage of advanced biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol. Several Growth Energy member companies have invested in the development and deployment of cellulosic ethanol, such as corn cobs.

The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated that the U.S. is home to more than one billion tons of biomass that could be converted to as much as 100 billion gallons of ethanol. Biomass is available in every state in the Union, meaning cellulosic ethanol could be produced anywhere in the country from this widely available feedstock.

“Secretary Vilsack and the Administration are showing tremendous foresight by investing in programs that will advance America’s renewable energy goals. This funding will help wean our nation off our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs here in the U.S. and improve our environment by promoting the rapid commercialization of cellulosic ethanol and other advanced biofuels,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “Our country’s next energy policy goal should be to open the transportation fuels market, as we outline in our Fueling Freedom plan, which would encourage demand for cellulosic ethanol and spur even more investment from the private sector.”

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About Growth Energy
Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at