Vilsack, LaHood Extend Aviation Biofuels Commitment

vilsack-lahood3Two members of Pres. Obama’s cabinet today have signed their names to an agreement that will extend the administration’s commitment to the production of biofuels for use in airplanes. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood have extended by five years the “Farm to Fly” program, an initiative to partner the USDA and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help develop a viable biofuel for the aviation industry.

During remarks at the ceremony at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference (ABLC) near Washington, D.C., Vilsack said this is a real job producer, especially for rural parts of the country.

“By continuing to work together to produce American made ‘drop-in’ aviation fuels from renewable feedstocks, we will create jobs and economic opportunity in rural America, lessen America’s reliance on foreign oil and develop a thriving biofuels industry that will benefit commercial and military enterprises,” Vilsack said. “USDA is pleased to partner with the FAA in our quest to develop alternatives to fossil-based fuel, which is critical to reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment.”

LaHood pointed out that it’s been the hard work of people in attendance at the ABLC that made this agreement even a possibility.

“Through the use of sustainable alternative jet fuels, we are showing the world that we can come together to solve our greatest environmental challenges,” said LaHood.

vilsack-lahood4During a news conference after the signing, Vilsack said that while there are some that want to derail the renewable fuels industry through the destruction of programs such as the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), he remains one of biofuels’ biggest allies.

I asked Vilsack how they overcome objections from automakers who don’t approve of E15 for most cars on the road, and he bristled and remained steadfastly behind the studies that show it would work in model years 2001 and after.

“The testing would suggest that there would not be damage to the engines. And I think if consumers were given the option, consumers would choose [E15] because they want to be supportive of a domestic fuel industry.”

And while there might be some who dispute on how much renewable energy is saving consumers and creating jobs, Vilsack said there are some things that are crystal clear.

“I am positive consumers benefit from this. I am positive that hundreds of thousands of jobs are connected to this industry. And I am positive that it has stabilized farm income,” he said.

Listen to Vilsack and LaHood’s remarks here: Secs. Vilsack and LaHood at ABLC

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0 responses to “Vilsack, LaHood Extend Aviation Biofuels Commitment”

  1. More agro-business payola and midwest presidential primary vote buying with taxpayer money. Biofuels are expensive because the consume more fossil fuel energy in their creation than they yield as fuel. There is no economy of scale when ROI is upside-down. Scaling that up just digs a bigger hole faster. Biofuels are not displacing but accelerating the use of fossil fuel, and net environmental damage and GHG emissions. Even environmental advocates have figured this out and are now in the opposition. The only supporters left are political cronies of this administration beholden to ADM, POET, Monsanto, Cargill, etc. The administration refuses to read the cautionary reports of the National Academy of Science, the National Research Council, or the RAND Defense Research Institute. Perhaps it will be swayed by the Europeans who have gone further down this path and are now repenting, having seen the unsavory consequences of their actions.

    The German National Academy of Science has recommended all European governments end all biofuel mandates:

    Germans consumers have rejected E10 at the pumps:

    There is new EU legislation that caps first generation biofuel blending at 5%, phases out subsidies, and imposes greater scrutiny and higher thresholds for true GHG reductions: and

    A consortium of Nine European Environmental Groups is mounting opposition to biofuels as well:

    Amyris, among a host of others, quit the drop-in biofuel business last year because it could not make its fuel for less than $30 a gallon. That is about the floor for drop-in biofuels, and that price goes up when oil goes up because of all the fossil fuel used for fertilizer and pesticide and herbicide and farm equipment fuel and transportation fuel and mill energy and fermentation bioreactors and distillation heat and hydrotreatment hydrogenation and deoxygenation, etc. And the price also goes up with drought and flood and frost and blight that don’t affect petroleum. This biofuel campaign is ruinous for our economy and our national security.