Pushing the biofuels plan is the fact that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) calls for 36 billion gallons of biofuels (including 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels) be produced by 2022. Currently, the country produces some 12 billion gallons of ethanol and 800 million gallons of biodiesel.

The treasure being spent by the United States on imported oil is needed desperately in rural America. Vilsack said the majority of rural counties lost population in the last census. He expects to see the trend continue when the just-completed census figures are released.

And with lost population, “political representation is lost. As we see an aging population in rural America, as we see as many high school dropouts as college graduates, it gets more and more difficult for (parents) to look at their children and suggest there really is an opportunity” in rural areas.

“I think it’s extraordinary that there may be as many as one million jobs, based on industry projections that could be created in rural America. That’s the kind of activity that will allow us to offer a chance to our kids who do want to stay in small towns, who have an affinity and connection to rural areas.”