As part of the Obama Administration's effort to promote production of fuel from renewable sources, create jobs and mitigate the effects of climate change, Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a series of measures.

"Domestic production of renewable energy, including biofuels, is a national imperative and that's why USDA is working to assist in developing a biofuels industry in every corner of the nation," says Vilsack. "By producing more biofuels in America, we will create jobs, combat global warming, replace our dependence on foreign oil and build a stronger foundation for the 21st century economy."

Vilsack announced several measures, including the publication of a final rule to implement the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). Under the BCAP final rule, USDA will resume making payments to eligible producers. The program had operated as a pilot, pending publication of the final rule. Authorized in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, BCAP is designed to ensure 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 Obama Administration is aggressively supporting our nation's farmers, ranchers and producers of biofuels as they work to bring greater energy independence to America," Vilsack says. "BCAP will help the nation's power, biobased product, and advanced biofuel industries produce energy from sustainable rural resources and create jobs that will stimulate rural economies across the nation."