Vilsack: Unlikely Partnership for Our Clean Energy Future
Tom Vilsak (USDA/Richmond Times-Dispatch) …America can no longer rely on energy sources that are growing increasingly difficult to find and utilize. We cannot accept an energy future that allows oil producers, whether they are controlled by a foreign state or a corporate board, to dictate how we will power our country. We must take back control of our energy security and energy independence. The costs of maintaining the status quo are too high.
At the same time, a failure to embrace renewable energy represents a lost economic opportunity for the nation, particularly for rural America. Our farms, forests, fields, and oceans are a wellspring of clean energy resources just waiting to be tapped. As we work to utilize alternative energy sources like biofuels, woody biomass, and anaerobic digesters, farmers and ranchers can benefit from new markets for bioenergy crops and agricultural byproducts — including those produced on land that is marginal for production of traditional crops. Biofuel facilities will provide permanent, good-paying jobs in small towns and bolster rural economies.
…A large percentage of the global oil supply comes from volatile areas of the world. We would never let the military procure weapons systems from these places; that would represent a clear national security risk. But, as some of our nation’s top military thinkers have argued, by accepting the status quo, we allow these same places a vote in whether our ships sail, our aircraft fly, or our vehicles run.
…(We) focused our research efforts on advanced biofuels processes and feedstocks. And we are working alongside other federal partners to accelerate production and commercialization of a wide range of clean energy sources with a focus on biofuels. READ MORE