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  • Aviation biofuel should help create jobs

USDA extends biofuel ‘Farm-to-Fly’ initiative

Apr 19 2013 Comments 0

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week announced a five-year extension to the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA's) agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop biofuel suitable for use in aircraft. The extension to the 2010-2012 ‘Farm-to-Fly’ initiative is in the hope that aviation biofuels will become an effective and economical alternative to petroleum-based aviation fuels.

This extension will build on the previously successful three-year agreement with the FAA and other public and private partners. The initiative aims to mitigate the risks posed to property values and water resources by petroleum, reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment - whilst also aiding the economic development of rural communities through the use of renewable feedstocks.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack said: “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." Through this initiative the USDA is hoping to show the world that the US is committed to solving its greatest environmental challenges.

As well as the development of biofuels suitable for aviation, ‘Farm-to-Fly’ also includes incentives and programmes to aid American farmers in the growing and selection of conversion-suitable energy crops. Areas that have no petroleum reserves will be benefitting greatly due to the initiative, creating jobs that range from crop growing to the transportation of biofuels.

“In his State of the Union Address, President Obama called on us to work together to reduce carbon emissions - developing these alternative jet fuels will do just that, while creating jobs and helping airlines save money on fuel.” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. ‘Farm-to-Fly’ will be building upon the work of the USDA’s Regional Biomass Research Centers to develop an advanced biofuels industry with industry partners, by producing feedstocks in different regions.

The future goals of the initiative focus on: developing feedstock supply chains, evaluating current and potential feedstock types, developing state and local jobs and communicating results - as well as developing suitable biofuels. 

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