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Dorr: Stay tuned for more energy details

01/26/2007 @ 3:30pm

All of the $1.6 billion in new money for research on cellulosic ethanol and biofuels announced earlier this week by USDA would be spend by the Department and not by the Department of Energy or other agencies, a high-ranking USDA official told Agriculture Online Friday.

"I think it's safe to assume that what the [Agriculture] Secretary announced on January 24 is a pretty strong commitment toward renewable energy," said Under Secretary of Rural Development Tom Dorr.

Dorr pointed out that the USDA also plans to offer $2 billion in loan guarantees for new plants built to process cellulosic crops like switchgrass into ethanol.

Both of these proposals are part of the USDA's soon-to-be released 2007 Farm Bill, which will be submitted to the House and Senate agriculture committees for their consideration as they write the new law this year.

Dorr said that he can't offer more details of the USDA farm bill but that it will be released soon.

All of the $1.6 billion in new money for research on cellulosic ethanol and biofuels announced earlier this week by USDA would be spend by the Department and not by the Department of Energy or other agencies, a high-ranking USDA official told Agriculture Online Friday.