Three government agencies have been given a presidential directive to aggressively accelerate the investment in and production of biofuels.
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy, together with the Environmental Protection Agency will make up the the new Biofuels Interagency Working Group. “The president has directed us to create a comprehensive biofuel marketing development program to focus on the infrastructure that will be necessary for this industry to be a permanent part of the American economy and to do it in a sustainable way,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during a conference call this morning with EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
“In the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), Congress recognized the need for a homegrown fuel source,” said Jackson. She said EPA is today publishing a standard that establishes four categories of renewable fuels and is soliciting peer reviewed, scientific feedback to ensure that the best science available is utilized prior to implementation.
Secretary Chu noted that agriculture is one of the nation’s greatest resources for energy. “We have incredible capacity not only to grow the food we need and to have dynamic exports, we can also grow a considerable amount of energy,” said Chu. He announced that $786 million will be invested through the recovery act for the development of advanced biofuels and the expansion of commercial biorefineries. Chu also said they will be creating an Algae Biofuels Consortium for the development of algae biofuels.
The working group is part of the Proposed Regulations for the Renewable Fuels Standard released by EPA today.
Listen to the press conference here:[audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/government/usda-epa-doe.mp3]