This Thursday and Friday a delegation led by Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer will attend an international biofuels conference in Brazil. A forum for private and government supporters of biofuels, the conference will have participants from 75 different countries.
"This shows that 70 plus countries in this world are interested in biofuels," said Schafer. "They want to do it right, they want to do it clean and they want to create the opportunities that are going to be there for their countries and others and we look forward to pursuing those opportunities for the rest of the world."
Schafer says the conference will be a positive step in coming to an understanding of how countries can work together to advance biofuel production. A major focus of the conference will be on second generation biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol.
"It is important for us to remember that this technology is going to allow energy independence for developing countries, for small countries that don't have energy, that import it, that are dependent on others," Schafer says. "What comes from energy independence is also better for the environment and it creates economic activity in rural areas so farmers and landowners can create energy independence through biofuels and make money on their own farm."
Schafer says it increases investment, increases economic activity and is good all the way around for the world and Brazil and the United States are going to lead the way. USDA Deputy Undersecretary Ellen Terpstra and U.S. State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Reno Harnish will travel to Brazil as part of the delegation.