Building a clean energy economy with equity was the topic of this year’s “The State of Environmental Justice in America” conference held this week in Washington.
In opening remarks on Thursday, Vice Admiral Melvin Williams Jr. (retired), associate deputy secretary, U.S. Department of Energy, said that the key to a new energy economy can be summed up by “commitment, fairness and collaboration.” He noted that the mission of the Department of Energy is to “help ensure the security and prosperity of America” and environmental justice is integral to that commitment. Read more »
The use of biofuels needs to expand throughout all of the United States. That’s what Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told an audience of about 50 producers, stakeholders and agency leaders during a renewable energy roundtable discussion at CHS Inc. in Inver Grove Heights, Minn. on Wednesday. Vilsack was joined by Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Amy Klobuchar at the event.
Vilsack shared how USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) helps reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. He also highlighted how a new provision in the program finances the installation of flex fuel pumps at convenience stores and fuel filling facilities throughout rural America. Read more »
Speaking before a capacity crowd this morning at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum, a distinguished panel representing three federal agencies and a member of the agricultural media discussed Federal renewable energy policy and its prospects to reduce consumption of imported oil, improve environmental quality and produce new jobs in rural America. Read more »
Earlier this month, Vice President Joe Biden announced a “Recovery Through Retrofit” initiative aimed at boosting energy efficiency in homes across the country. As part of the effort, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has developed Home Energy Score software that will standardize home energy audits, providing homeowners with a score, a list of possible upgrades, and a breakdown of the costs and benefits of recommended upgrades. Read more »
An ethanol plant in Bairstown, Iowa, may soon begin producing fuel from waste materials.
After visiting a cutting-edge biofuels facility in rural Iowa recently, a group of USDA Rural Development state directors are thinking about the tremendous global implications of that plant. Read more »
There is an excitement at USDA with respect to bioenergy and biofuels and much is going on – a BIOFRENZY if you will – not in a sense of chaos – but rather many challenges and much to do. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 will be implemented July 1, 2010. The RFS2 calls for 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be used in the US transportation fuel supply by 2022 – and the majority of this total must be advanced biofuels. Read more »