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White House launches initiative to boost biofuel industry

(Xinhua)

08:39, August 17, 2011

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- The White House announced Tuesday that the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy will invest up to 510 million U.S. dollars in partnership with the private sector to facilitate the country's biofuel industry development.

"Biofuels are an important part of reducing America's dependence on foreign oil and creating jobs here at home," U.S. President Barack Obama said in a White House statement.

The initiative is a response to a directive from Obama issued in March as part of the Blueprint for A Secure Energy Future, the administration's framework for reducing dependence on foreign oil.

"But supporting biofuels cannot be the role of government alone. That's why we're partnering with the private sector to speed development of next-generation biofuels that will help us continue to take steps towards energy independence and strengthen communities across our country," Obama added.

The joint plan calls for the three departments to invest up to 510 million dollars in the next three years, which will require substantial cost share from private industry, in a bid to reduce U. S. reliance on foreign oil and create jobs at home.

"By building a national biofuels industry, we are creating construction jobs, refinery jobs and economic opportunity in rural communities throughout the country," said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

White House figures revealed that the world's largest economy spends more than 300 billion dollars on imported crude oil every year.

With a slackening economic recovery and the government's approval rate at a record low level, the Obama administration is rolling out a string of measures in recent days to accelerate economic growth and job creation.

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