America’s Future Biofuels Hotspots
Nebraska could become America’s next fuel tank. At least that’s what Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., said after USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the University of Nebraska-Lincoln would be the new home for a Regional Biofuels Feedstocks Research and Demonstration Center. Soon to be one of five regional centers, the Lincoln location will be led by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, and more importantly, it will help develop and construct future biorefineries.
Nelson’s remarks about the potential of the Nebraska facility may soon be echoed, as other locations have been identified in Madison, Wis., Maricopa, Ariz., and Pullman, Wash., in conjunction with Corvallis, Ore., and a southeastern center consisting of Boonesville, Ark., Tifton, Ga., and Auburn Ala.
On Oct. 21, Vilsack announced that within 60 days, the Rural Development office of the USDA will announce funding “of a specific biorefinery or bioenergy plant in each of the regions.” The construction will begin in 2011 and for the effect of this measure, Vilsack said it best: “The entire country can begin to see the economic benefit to producers and the job creation potential of the biofuel/bioenergy industry.”