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President to USDA: Expand Access to Biofuels Now

Agricultural Department has 30 days to get the money flowing.

by on May.05, 2009


At the very least, the President is attempting to channel the huge taxpayer financed subsidies of agribusiness in a way that helps national security.

President Obama issued a directive this morning to Secretary Vilsack at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to “aggressively accelerate the investment in and production of biofuels,” by making use of renewable energy financing opportunities from the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 available within 30 days.

The order is an attempt by the President to make the U.S. completely free from importing foreign oil. It is also the beginnings of a transition away from corn-based ethanol to advanced bio fuels, as well as an attempt reduce greenhouse gas emissions that the EPA has identified as harmful. The estimated costs of the latest moves were not disclosed.

“President Obama’s announcement today demonstrates his deep commitment to establishing a permanent biofuels industry in America,” said Vilsack. “Expanding our biofuels infrastructure provides a unique opportunity to spur rural economic development while reducing our dependence on foreign oil — one of the great challenges of the 21st century.”

Vilsack also announced that he will help lead an interagency effort to increase America’s energy independence and spur rural economic development. was on a conference call with Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Secretary Vilsack when the announcement was made. 

This looks to be the beginnings of a promised comprehensive energy policy that will cut across the vast federal bureaucracy to take back control of U.S. energy use from off-shore based sources that are clearly not our friends. At the very least, it is an attempt to channel huge taxpayer subsidies of agribusiness in a way that helps national security. The President, thus far, has been unsuccessful at trimming such politically popular subsidies, even as the national debt reaches monstrous, unsustainable proportions of the gross domestic product. (more…)