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Obama administration renews aviation biofuel program

Apr 16 2013 Read 638 Times

The Obama administration has renewed its aviation biofuel program, it has been announced.

It is hoped the scheme, which supports the development of biofuels for the aviation industry, will produce one billion gallons of biofuel annually. The US government also underlined its backing of federal renewable fuel targets.

Us Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood signed a pact extending a program that has worked with the private sector and rural communities to create an alternative to fossil fuels for aeroplanes.

Speaking to an industry conference in Washington, Vilsack said: "We want to re-affirm the importance of this particular industry in this administration.”

The “Farm to Fly” program is aiming to see one billion gallons of aviation biofuels produced by 2018. As well as studying different jet biofuel possibilities, it also has an emphasis on developing state and local partnerships with private companies.

This is despite the fact that livestock producers and refiners have hit out at federal support for biofuels. These critics argue that the biofuels mandate has contributed to higher food prices, and could also harm supplies of gasoline.

However, it is thought the Obama administration’s support for the mandate could see attempts to curtail the targets being blocked.

Vilsack added that the biofuel industry should be “vigilant” in support of the mandate.

The expert said: "There are industries and folks who are deeply concerned about the progress that is being made, who want to show that progress down.

"Now, is not the time to step back, now is the time to continue moving forward."

According to Vilsack, the mandate is actually lowering gasoline prices, rather than raising them, and is also creating farming jobs.

However, oil refiners argued that the biofuel targets are now at a point where complying with them would see the industry blend more ethanol into gasoline than is actually possible given the ten per cent per gallon level.

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