The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended its agreement to help the Federal Aviation Administration develop aviation biofuels for another five years.
The two agencies initially linked up in October 2010 to look into deriving aviation fuel from green feedstocks like forest and crop residues.
USDA, FAA and other supporting members hope to produce 1 billion gallons of aviation biofuel by 2018.
To date, the partnership has lead to the development of a feedstock readiness-level tool, an aviation industry program that tracks the progress of biofuel development; funding of six regional research centers; and numerous alliances and research programs with universities around the country.
"By continuing to work together to produce American-made, 'drop-in' aviation fuels from renewable feedstocks, we will create jobs and economic opportunity in rural America, lessen America's reliance on foreign oil and develop a thriving biofuels industry that will benefit commercial and military enterprises," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. "USDA is pleased to partner with the FAA in our quest to develop alternatives to fossil-based fuel, which is critical to reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment." - Jon Ross