Tag Archives: usda

[NEWS] Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue Confirmed as US Ag Secretary

– by Anna Simet, April 25, 2017, Biomass Magazine

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Photo: USDA

In an 87-11 vote, on April 24, the U.S. Senate confirmed Sonny Perdue as the 31st U.S. secretary of agriculture.

Perdue brings to the USDA a farming background and lengthy career of public service, ranging from Captain in the U.S. Airforce, to 11 years as a Georgia state Senator, to a two-term governor. As governor of Georgia, according to his USDA biography, Perdue was credited with transforming a budget deficit into a surplus, dramatically increasing student performance in public schools, and fostering an economic environment that allowed employers to flourish and manufacturers and agricultural producers to achieve record levels of exports.

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[NEWS] Bioenergy Industry Praises Trump’s Nominee for Agriculture Secretary

– by Erin Voegele, January 19, 2017, Ethanol Producer Magazine

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Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue (Photo: Georgia Governor’s Office)

On Jan. 19, President-elect Donald Trump nominated former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to lead the USDA. The nomination, which is subject to U.S. Senate confirmation, represents Trump’s final cabinet selection. Perdue served as Georgia governor from 2003 through 2011.

Members of the biofuels and bioenergy industries have spoken out in response to Perdue’s nomination, indicating they look forward to working with him to continue growing biofuel and bioenergy production.

The Biomass Power Association praised Perdue’s nomination. “Under Governor Perdue’s leadership, the state of Georgia embraced bioenergy in many forms, including biomass power,” said Bob Cleaves, president of Biomass Power Association. “The agriculture secretary plays an important role in overseeing forestry on federal lands. Biomass can help enhance forest health by providing a market for hazardous fuel removal.”

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[NEWS] USDA Awards $7.4 Million in Bioenergy Funding

– by Erin Voegele, October 25, 2016, Biomass Magazine

usdaOn Oct. 25, the USDA announced it is investing more than $300 million to help hundreds of small businesses adopt renewable energy sources or implement more efficient energy options. The investment includes $327 million to support 423 businesses through the Rural Energy for America Program and a $68 million loan awarded to the Pedernales Electric Cooperative of Johnson City, Texas, through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program to fund system-wide energy efficiency improvements to assist a rural portion of the co-op’s service territory.

Bioenergy-related REAP awards made through the current round of funding include:

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[NEWS] Bio-Based Products Industry Has Major Impact on Economy

– by Erin Voegele, October 4, 2016, Ethanol Producer Magazine

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Graphic: USDA

On Oct. 3, the USDA released a new report showing that the biobased products industry contributed $393 billion and 4.2 million jobs to America’s economy in 2014. From 2013 to 2014, the sector created new 220,000 jobs and grew by $24 billion.

The new report, commissioned by the USDA BioPreferred Program, is the second Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry released by the USDA. It analyzes revenue and jobs created by the biobased products industry at the national and state level in 2014. The first report, released last year, analyzed 2013 data.

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[EXCLUSIVE] Where Do Environmental Groups Stand on Bioenergy?

– by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor

One-quarter of renewable energy in the U.S. in 2015 came from wind (21%) and solar (6%), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, 43% was from generated from bioenergy, combusting trees, crops, manure, and trash for electricity and/or heat, or converting these materials into liquid transportation fuels.

So where do the nation’s largest and most influential environmental groups stand on bioenergy, the largest source of renewables?

The Biomass Monitor contacted representatives for the following organizations (listed alphabetically) to determine their stances on biomass power and heating, liquid biofuels for transportation, and trash incineration: 350*, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, National Wildlife Federation*, Natural Resources Defense Council, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, and Stand (formerly Forest Ethics).

*350 and National Wildlife Federation representatives didn’t respond to repeated inquiries, so organizational platforms are based on information found online.

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Support A Full Spectrum View of Bioenergy

If you’re reading this, knowing what’s going on in the bioenergy world is important to you.

Whether you’re in the industry, an environmental or public health advocate, a journalist, a student, a government agency staffer, an elected official, or just bio-curious, you count on The Biomass Monitor to give you the nation’s most comprehensive look at this popular and controversial energy source.

There are a lot of sources of information for bioenergy these days, but very few of them cover the whole spectrum of views. While some media outlets might attempt this, they often fail due to a limited understanding of the science and oversimplification of the debate.

How much do you value The Biomass Monitor, the one publication out there offering you all sides of the story on biomass and biofuels? Enough that you’re willing to support our work to make sure it continues?

Here’s a little reminder of what we’ve been up to for the last seven years:

  • Every month, The Biomass Monitor puts out meticulously-researched, balanced, and high quality investigative journalism focused on the number one form of “renewable” energy in the U.S., bioenergy.
  • Our articles regularly appear in widely-read national publications including Truthout, Earth Island Journal, EcoWatch, Alternet, and Counterpunch, as well as popular local media outlets, such as the Boulder Weekly (100,000+ readers) and the Glendale-Cherry Creek Chronicle (the largest mailed print publication in Denver, Colorado).
  • We’re now publishing point-counterpoint opinion pieces in each monthly issue, where biomass supporters and critics alike discuss important issues relevant to bioenergy, like climate change, public health, and forests.
  • On a daily basis, we monitor, filter, and distribute the latest bioenergy news from around the nation via our blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Our feed is one-stop shopping for anyone who wants to be kept in the loop on the latest bioenergy proposals, science, and politics.
  • We host free, monthly conference calls featuring experts speaking on various aspects of bioenergy.
  • We’re constantly contacting journalists across the nation writing on bioenergy and offering them a list of the most relevant contacts in the bioenergy field (industry groups, opponents, scientists, and everyone in between) to encourage balanced and informed media coverage.
  • We curate an extensive list of peer-reviewed scientific studies and reports relevant to bioenergy.

With everything that The Biomass Monitor delivers, surely you can agree that no other publication in the U.S. even comes close to what we’re doing. And, that with topics such as climate change, renewable energy, public health, and the environment becoming more and more crucial, we’re an important feature in today’s media landscape.

But none of this can keep happening without sustainable funding. And that’s why we’re contacting you today.

If you value the unique work of The Biomass Monitor—and are concerned about what its absence would mean when it comes to informing the public about one half of all “renewable” energy—please consider offering your financial support today.

Whether it’s $15, $35, $100 or more, your tax-deductible gift goes a long way towards ensuring that the American public stays abreast of the issues of biomass power and heating, ethanol and liquid biofuels, and trash and waste incineration.

Thanks for your consideration and ongoing readership.

Sincerely,

Josh Schlossberg, Editor-in-Chief (Denver, Colorado)
Samantha Chirillo, Associate Editor (Eugene, Oregon)

Editorial Board:
Roy Keene, Forester (Eugene, Oregon)
Dr. Brian Moench, Physician (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Jon Rhodes, Hydrologist (Portland, Oregon)
George Wuerthner, Ecologist (Bozeman, Montana)

[NEWS] USDA Offers $250 Million Loan Guarantees for Biorefineries

– by Steven Johnson, July 29, 2016, ECT

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Photo: Alex Milan Tracy

The Department of Agriculture announced July 25 that it will provide loan guarantees of up to $250 million for commercial-scale biorefineries and biobased product manufacturing facilities.

The support stems from a 2008 program that was expanded as part of the 2014 Farm Bill, USDA said.

“The bioeconomy is a catalyst for economic development in rural America, creating new jobs and providing new markets for farmers and ranchers,” Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said.

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