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News Release

Release No. 0296.08
Contact:
Keith Williams (202) 720-4723
Linda Habenstreit (202) 720-9442

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SCHAFER TO LEAD U.S. DELEGATION TO INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BIOFUELS IN BRAZIL

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2008—Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer will lead the U.S. delegation to an International Conference on Biofuels in Sao Paulo, Brazil from Nov. 20-21.

Other members of the delegation include USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Ellen Terpstra, Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Douglas Faulkner and U.S. Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary Reno Harnish.

"At this conference, the United States will emphasize the sustainable production and use of biofuels as a positive contribution to worldwide economic development that maintains food production, increases energy independence and mitigates climate change," said Schafer. "We are excited for the rapidly developing second generation biofuels which will allow production of energy based on a wide variety of locally available materials. This will allow more flexibility for farmers to get involved and reduce the dependency on one or two feedstock sources. "

While in Sao Paulo, Schafer will also meet with several agriculture ministers from around the world and with other high-level officials.

The purpose of the conference is to encourage international discussion about the opportunities and challenges presented by biofuels. It will provide a forum for governments, the private sector, civil society, the academic and scientific community, and private voluntary, non-governmental, and international organizations to focus on the biofuels aspects of energy security, climate change, sustainability, innovation, and international trade. Brazil is sponsoring the conference. More than 75 countries are expected to be represented.