Biofueling Rural Development: Making the Case for Linking Biofuel Production to Rural Revitalization

Jan 03, 2007 | by
  • Description

Biofuels have emerged as one of the most promising new sectors for rural America. Primarily a Midwestern phenomenon until now, the expected shift to biomass -- as opposed to the current grain and oilseed feedstocks -- for producing biofuels will expand the biofuel sector's impact and influence nationwide. Politicians and proponents tout the potential for biofuels to stimulate rural job creation and economic growth and increase energy independence as key reasons for providing public support for the industry. But in the rush to grow the sector, the benefits to rural communities may be muted or lost if federal, state and local policies and programs that help determine the sector's ownership, scale and structure do not sufficiently support rural development priorities.