Funds available for bioenergy development, production

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON —- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for up to $50 million in projects to promote the continued production and use of biofuels.

U.S.D.A and other federal agencies are working to decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil and spur rural economic development. The $50 million in 2008 Farm Bill money will advance two U.S.D.A. efforts, according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: $20 million under to provide financial incentives to biorefineries to replace fossil fuels used to produce heat or power at their facilities with renewable biomass; and $30 million to provide payments to eligible advanced biofuel producers to encourage the increased production and use of biofuels.

Aug. 11 is the applications deadline for the advanced biofuels program; applications for the biorefineries to replace fossil fuels are due Nov. 1.

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