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Published June 27, 2011, 05:22 AM

Vilsack talks aviation biofuels

PARIS — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in Paris June 22 that a meeting with fuel and airline company executives at the Paris Air Show has “reassured” him that the United States is taking the right in path in developing biofuels, particularly for airline use.

By: Jerry Hagstrom, Special to Agweek

PARIS — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in Paris June 22 that a meeting with fuel and airline company executives at the Paris Air Show has “reassured” him that the United States is taking the right in path in developing biofuels, particularly for airline use.

In an interview, Vilsack said that he had spoken to a group of about 50 people involved in airline fuels shortly after he arrived from Washington to attend a meeting of the G-20 agriculture ministers. The Paris Air Show is the largest airline industry event in the world.

Companies were “excited” about the possibility of using U.S. biofuels for aviation, Vislack said, adding that he also stressed that the United States is emphasizing the development of biofuels from nonfood stocks.

Congressional appropriators recently have voted to cut biofuels programs, but Vilsack said it is up to the Obama administration to show Congress that cutting biofuels subsidies “would be penny wise and pound foolish.”

Biofuels create jobs in rural America, he said, and the govenrment loan guarantees likely are to be either a minor expense or paid back in time.

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