In a speech
at the National Press Club this morning, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced several new initiatives to promote renewable energy.
The final rule for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) will be published in the October 22, 2010
, Federal Register
, which will provide up to 75% of the cost of establishing new biomass crop as well as annual rental payments to help cover the cost of transitioning from current cash crops. BCAP is designed to ensure that a sufficiently large base of new, non-food, non-feed biomass crops is established in anticipation of future demand for renewable energy consumption.
The Agricultural Research Service is partnering with the U.S. Forest Service to establish five regional centers that will focus, accelerate, and coordinate the science and technology needed to incorporate feedstock production into existing agricultural and forest based systems. These centers will also help foster the development and construction of biorefineries.
USDA is also establishing a partnership with the Federal Aviation Industry (FAA) to develop appropriate feed stocks that can be most efficiently processed into jet fuel, including forest and crop residues and other "green" feedstocks.
In his remarks, Secretary Vilsack cited a new study from USDA's Economic Research Service This report, Effects of Increased Biofuels in the US Economy in 2022
, anticipates that the costs of producing biofuels will decreased with each generation of biofuels at the same time that the costs of fossil fuels are expected to rise.
(USDA press release
; Secretary Vilsack's remarks