This month President Barack Obama announced three measures to boost the production of biofuels and reduce American dependency on foreign petroleum. Biofuels are derived from renewable resources, such as plants rather than non-renewable fossil fuels.
The Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, has finalized a rule to implement the long-term renewable fuels standard of 36 billion gallons by 2022 established by the U.S. Congress. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed a rule on the Biomass Crop Assistance Program that would provide financing to increase the conversion of biomass to bioenergy. The President's Biofuels Interagency Working Group released its first report – Growing America's Fuel. The report, authored by group co-chairs, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, lays out a strategy to advance the development and commercialization of a sustainable biofuels industry to meet or exceed America's biofuel targets.
"Advancing biomass and biofuel production holds the potential to create green jobs [jobs that protect the natural environment], which is one of the many ways the Obama Administration is working to rebuild and revitalize rural America," said Agriculture Secretary Vilsak.
EPA Administrator Jackson said the new measures "will create jobs, slash greenhouse gas emissions and increase our energy security while helping to put America on the leading edge of the new energy economy."
President Obama said investing in clean energy jobs and businesses is the right thing to do. "We can't afford to spin our wheels" [do nothing], he said, "while the rest of the world speeds ahead."