The federal government extended a research program to develop biofuels for use in commercial airplanes by five years on Monday.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the agreement at a conference outside Washington, D.C.
"By continuing to work together to produce American made 'drop-in' aviation fuels from renewable feedstocks, we will create jobs and economic opportunity in rural America, lessen America's reliance on foreign oil and develop a thriving biofuels industry that will benefit commercial and military enterprises," Vilsack said in a statement.
The initiative, which started in 2010, is part of a broader federal effort to bring domestic production of those drop-in aviation biofuels to 1 billion gallons per year by 2018.
Known as “Farm to Fly,” the effort also involves private airline firms — who cite making the fuel supply chain more efficient as a key benefit — and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The White House has promoted the aviation and other biofuel programs as a way to lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce dependence on foreign oil and grow domestic biofuel companies.
LaHood said aviation biofuels would help President Obama maintain commitments to address climate change in his second term.
"In his State of the Union Address, President Obama called on us to work together to reduce carbon emissions - developing these alternative jet fuels will do just that, while creating jobs and helping airlines save money on fuel,” LaHood said in a Monday statement.
Obama has advocated growing the domestic biofuel industry through increased federal research, which the fiscal 2014 budget plan he proposed last week would do.
Biofuel backers say cooperative federal programs like the one extended Monday are key to jump-starting production of the...
Just get your biofuels out of the ground. I have not studied it but I would not be surprised if you have to burn more energy making man made biofuels than you get in return and how many people will die in airplane crashes when the biofuels cause engine failure. Just askin'.