GE Aviation biofuel plan could be economic engine
A proposal by GE Aviation to produce renewable jet fuel from raw materials in Ohio will help revitalize the country’s rural economy, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday.
Vilsack was visiting Evendale for a briefing on the proposed joint venture, which was detailed here in last week’s Business Courier. In an interview after his briefing, Vilsack tied the biofuels effort to the Obama administration’s program to rebuild the farm economy through innovation, increased exports, renewable energy, and outdoor recreation.
“It’s an extraordinary opportunity to increase farm income and jobs in rural areas,” Vilsack said of various biofuels initiatives that are under way across the state.
Because the raw materials for biofuels are scattered across the region, the refineries for converting them will need to be smaller than oil refineries, only about 150 miles or so apart, Vilsack said, rather than concentrated in large centralized facilities. That will increase job opportunities, he said.