Importance of Biofuels in Rural Revitalization

Cindy Zimmerman

The expansion of biofuels will play a significant role in the revitalization of rural America, according to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

“Why not create biofuel refineries and renewable energy plants that create jobs and markets for a product that otherwise might not be valued as much,” said Vilsack during a Rural Summit in Missouri on Thursday. “Why not create opportunities for the bioeconomy to respond to challenges like we have down in the Gulf.”

Vilsack says we need to build both the production and distribution systems for renewable fuels. “We’re working hard to get that long term commitment for the financial support. We want to figure out ways to make sure that we get the credit that is necessary to build these biorefineries and maintain them through tough times. We want to increase research and development in advanced biofuels and feedstocks and figure out how to do things more efficiently,” said Vilsack.

The National Summit, held in Hillsboro, Mo., culminates the Rural Tour Secretary Vilsack led last year to 22 states.

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