USDA will expand its use of ethanol and biodiesel fuels in its fleet of vehicles where practicable and reasonable in cost.
The new policy shows USDA's support of the National Energy Plan as well as improving environmental air quality. It will also help improve the economies of rural America and the nation's energy independence.
"The energy challenges our nation faces today offer tremendous opportunities for agriculture," said Sec. Ann M. Veneman, "Agriculture can help solve our energy problems through the production of domestic liquid fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel. Renewable energy is good for independence, good for farmers, and good for the environment."
Beltsville has used the fuel the last two years for heating and to operate 150 diesel vehicles-everything from tractors to snowplows. Beltsville will heat all its buildings with biodiesel fuel next winter, including the 14-story National Agricultural Library.