Ag Sec. Vilsack to address National Biodiesel Conference & Expo
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will give a keynote address at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Las Vegas next month. The Secretary, widely recognized for his leadership contributing to the success of biofuels, will give the address to close out the conference on Thursday, Feb. 7.
“Sec. Vilsack is one of the strongest advocates for renewable fuels in the nation, and we are thrilled to have him speak to our industry at the conference,” said Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. “Federal biodiesel policies reduce dependence on foreign oil, build green jobs at home, and are stimulating a rural renaissance. Sec. Vilsack has played a huge role in the continued support for these policies, and we're looking forward to thanking him for his unwavering support.”
Vilsack has called the biodiesel industry a shining example of the promise of a new rural economy, creating opportunities for energy security, farmers, and revitalized job growth in small towns.
President Obama has laid out a bold goal of reducing oil imports by half by 2020 in his Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future released in March 2011. Since then, the U.S. EPA increased the federal targets for biodiesel under the renewable fuel standard to 1.28 billion gallons. And on Dec. 31, Congress voted to extend the federal biodiesel tax incentive, a move that is expected to give the industry a further shot in the arm this year.
“As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the National Biodiesel Board, one of our goals for this conference is to examine where we see America's Advanced Biofuel in the next 20 years,” Jobe said. “The Secretary has a vision for American agriculture's contribution to energy security and the economy, and we are eager to hear his insight on our long-term role.”
Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from sustainable resources such as soybean oil, recycled cooking oil and other fats and oils. It is the first and only EPA-designated advanced biofuel produced on a commercial scale across the country.