Vilsack tours Pennsylvania biodiesel plant

By | April 26, 2010

Posted May 12, 2010

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack toured Middletown Biofuels in central Pennsylvania on May 7, where he highlighted biodiesel production as a critical component in America's strategy to create jobs and revitalize the rural economy. But the hope of Congress finalizing the biodiesel blender tax credit legislation, critical for the industry's survival, and sending it to the President's desk by the Memorial Day break is beginning to fade.

Middletown Biofuels, which produces fuel from a variety of waste oils, is one of more than 120 companies that recently received funding under USDA Rural Development's Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, a program authorized under the 2008 farm bill. The bioenergy payments are made to biofuels companies in rural areas to expand the production of advanced biofuels, which are those made from renewable sources other than corn kernel starch.

Middletown Biofuels' plant manager Alan Legrand was unavailable for comment on Vilsack's visit.

Earlier, the USDA announced that it was soliciting additional applications for funds under the advanced biofuels program.

"These continuing payments significantly help advance the production of biofuels in Pennsylvania," said USDA Rural Development State Director Tom Williams. "Middletown Biofuels' plant is in a prime agricultural region in central Pennsylvania. Businesses such as this create jobs in addition to producing renewable energy. They are a win-win on many levels."

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in 500 national, state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $134 billion in loans and loan guarantees.
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