The Obama Administration has always supported renewable energy and has implemented several policies to tackle climate change. Today, Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new series of measures that will aim to boost biomass production all around the country. The keystone of the plan is the full implementation of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), under which the USDA will make payments to biomass producers to ensure a large source of biomass material that can be used for energy production, food, or animal feed.
Speaking to the National Press Club, Vilsack said, “Domestic production of renewable energy, including biofuels, is a national imperative and that’s why the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working to assist in developing a biofuels industry in every corner of the nation. 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.”
The Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) originally started out as a pilot program, and was awaiting final publication before it was fully implemented. Producers who enter into the BCAP contract will be paid 75 percent of the cost of establishing eligible perennial crops. They will also receive money for up to five years for annual or non-woody perennial crops and up to 15 years for woody perennial crops. On top of that, landowners will receive matching payments for the transportation of certain eligible materials that are sold to qualified biomass conversion facilities.
“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 said. “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.”