US farmers urged to join Federal program to grow crops for aviation bio-fuelAugust 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces | Leave a comment
by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Farmers are being urged to join a federal program that pays them to grow camelina, a crop that some researchers consider a potential alternative to overseas oil.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said the new U.S. Department of Agriculture effort is intended to jump-start the creation of a camelina-to-fuel industry.
But The Spokesman-Review reported Wednesday that unless many more Western U.S. farmers grow camelina, few companies will invest money in production facilities to turn camelina oil into biodiesel or “green” aviation fuel.
Cantwell said the program would pay Eastern Washington farmers up to $4.5 million in crop support over five years to grow camelina on their land. But growers must commit to the program by Sept. 16. The USDA funds are only for the current fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. [Full story]