USDA Rural Development State Director Vicki Walker today announced federal investments in ten Oregon producers of advanced biofuels for the production of domestic renewable energy development.
“This is an example of USDA advancing President Obama’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy while helping to stimulate rural economies and create new jobs,” Walker said.
The Oregon announcement of more than $431,000 in payments to ten producers is part of a nationwide total investment of $60 million in payments to 195 producers to support and expand the production of advanced biofuel. The funding is provided through the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, which was established in the 2008 Farm Bill and reauthorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. Under this program, payments are made to eligible producers based on the amount of advanced biofuels produced from renewable biomass other than corn kernel starch. Examples of eligible feedstocks include but are not limited to crop residue; animal, food and yard waste; vegetable oil; and animal fat.
Through this program and others, USDA is working to support the research, investment and infrastructure necessary to build a robust and lasting biofuels industry that creates jobs and broadens the range of feedstocks used to produce renewable fuel. Since the program’s inception, it has supported the production of more than 4 billion gallons of advanced biofuel and the equivalent of more than 40 billion kilowatt hours of electric energy.
“These significant contributions to our domestic energy supplies have been made by innovators who are also helping to address climate change and create new employment opportunities for rural America,” Walker said.
For instance, by creating jobs converting used cooking oil from the Pacific Northwest’s food industry into a local source of biodiesel, SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel is helping meet demands for both domestically produced energy and reductions in harmful emissions that contribute to climate change.
Through the current announcement, SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel will receive just over $379,000 from USDA to incentivize the production of more than 7 million gallons of biofuel in 2014. This USDA support is helping the company move forward in the emerging industry by installing new equipment and increasing production of high quality products that are sold as biofuel through Pacific Northwest retailers and to oil terminals as fuel additives that improve diesel performance, extend engine life, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Investments like this are yielding strong results. After only a few short years in business, SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel today provides nearly 100 family wage jobs with benefits. At the same time, they are generating a significant environmental benefit; the 6.5 million gallons of biofuel the company produced in 2013 is enough to offset an estimated 122.2 million pounds of carbon.
In addition to large-scale production, smaller scale producers with anaerobic digesters and wood pellet operations in Oregon are also benefitting from the program.
Click here to view the full list of producers receiving support through this announcement.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way - strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.