Many organizations have expressed their approval of the Department of Agriculture's final rule on the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. Under the final rule, USDA will resume making BCAP payments to eligible producers. According to USDA, BCAP ensures that a sufficiently large base of new, non-food, non-feed biomass crops is established in anticipation of future demand for renewable energy consumption.
The National Association of Conservation Districts is very happy with the final rule. NACD President Steve Robinson calls biomass essential to meeting the nation's renewable energy and climate objectives. Robinson says conservation districts are uniquely positioned to provide the technical assistance and outreach to landowners on the effective implementation of BCAP.
Growth Energy also is in favor of the new initiative announced by Secretary Tom Vilsack, to encourage installation of blender pumps so consumers can choose their fuel and increased use of higher blends in the federal vehicle fleet.
"There is no doubt that Secretary Vilsack and President Obama understand the need to move this nation off our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs here in the U.S. and improve our environment," said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. "The announced measures accelerate our progress toward energy independence and getting our economy going again."
Buis says - if the U.S. truly wants to reduce dependence on foreign oil, create jobs and improve our environment, they need to ensure that the entire vehicle fleet and fuel infrastructure are ready to use expanded U.S. ethanol production.
Bart Schott, a corn grower from Kulm, North Dakota and President of the National Corn Growers Association, said because time is very short before the current Congress ends, they are urging lawmakers to take the importance of this initiative to heart and move quickly. NCGA especially supports any move to extend the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit.
With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recent decision to allow higher ethanol blends in newer vehicles, NCGA sees reasons to be hopeful in Secretary Vilsack's announcement. "ASA Voices Support for Vilsack's Statements"
The American Soybean Association also expressed their appreciation on the announcement that stressed the importance of continuing to develop and expand the domestic renewable biofuels industry, including support for the extension of the biodiesel tax credit and implementation of the Section 9005 Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels.
ASA President Rob Joslin, a soybean producer from Sidney, Ohio, says at a time when jobs and renewable energy production are cited as top priorities, it is unacceptable that Congress would fail to extend the biodiesel tax credit.
"The biodiesel tax credit has a direct impact on jobs and it supports a homegrown renewable energy source, the first and only advanced biofuel commercially produced in the United States," Joslin said. "We must get Congress to make a retroactive and multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax credit a priority."
The National 25x'25 Steering Committee also joined the chorus of support for Secretary Vilsack's Thursday announcement, as did the National Farmers Union.
"We are extremely pleased with the announced investment in flexible fuel and blender pumps, biorefineries, and research and development," said National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson. "This kind of investment by the Obama administration in biofuels infrastructure is exactly what is needed in order for the United States to realize sustained growth of biofuels.