Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on May 16 that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide $14 million in funding for advanced biofuel projects, which are to be divided among 162 biofuel producers across the nation. Biofuel producers receiving funds from the USDA this year are spread across 38 states, from California to Maine, Wisconsin to Texas.

“These payments represent the Obama administration’s commitment to support an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy,” Agriculture Secretary Vilsack said. “Producing advanced biofuels is a major component of the drive to take control of America’s energy future by developing domestic, renewable energy sources.”

The funds are being provided through the USDA’s Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, which was established in the 2008 Farm Bill. Under this program, payments are made to eligible producers based on the amount of advanced biofuels they have produced from renewable biomass, excluding biofuels that have been produced using corn kernel starch.

Through this and other programs, USDA is working to support the research, investment, and infrastructure necessary to build a strong biofuels industry that creates jobs and broadens the range of feedstocks used to produce renewable fuel. More than 280 producers in 45 states and territories have received $192.5 million in payments since the program’s inception. It has supported the production of more than 3 billion gallons of advanced biofuel and the equivalent of more than 36 billion kilowatt hours of electric energy.

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack opening a bio-fuels E-85 gas station in Nashville, TN, on Monday, May 23, 2011. Credit: USDA

This year, the USDA’s funds will go to advanced biofuel producers specializing in one of seven energy areas: anaerobic digestion, biodiesel production through mechanical means, biodiesel production through transesterification, biofuel production from waste products, ethanol production, biofuel production from landfill gas, and pellets.

RBF Port Neches, LLC, received the largest amount of funding from the USDA this year, with an award of $2,514,973. The company, which operates plants in Houston and Port Neches, Texas, is the largest biodiesel production facility in North America.

To view the full list of producers receiving payments of more than $500 from the USDA, please follow this link: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/rdAdvancedBiofuelPaymentProgramChart.pdf.




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