WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. Department of Agriculture today released an economic impact report on the production of biobased products, finding that they currently contribute to U.S. economic growth, energy security, and environmental goals.
Lloyd Ritter, co-director of the Agriculture Energy Coalition (AgEC), said, “The renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in the Farm Bill help rural America create new manufacturing opportunities and stable, well-paying jobs. The BioPreferred Program enables biobased product manufacturers to distinguish their products in the marketplace, using a label that identifies the percentage of renewable content. The program already recognizes 14,000 individual biobased products in 97 categories, but estimates that there are now 40,000 biobased products on the market. The biobased products industry contributes $369 billion annually to the U.S. economy and employs more than four million Americans. Under the new rules, more biobased products will be eligible for this program. Together, the use of these 40,000 biobased products displaces about 300 million gallons of petroleum per year, which is equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road.”
The AgEC is a broad membership-based consortium of organizations and companies representing a broad spectrum of clean, renewable energy, energy efficiency and bioproducts stakeholders. It includes members focused on feedstock production and conversion technologies, rural economic development and diversification, biofuels, products and power, and renewable electricity production, environmental quality, and others. Coalition members are committed to seeing a strong bi-partisan energy title in the 2012 farm bill that builds on the tremendous clean energy accomplishments USDA has already realized and provides resources to USDA at a level that enables them to continue and expand this important mission.