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By Mal Leary, Capitol News Service

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine has received more cash from the federal government for the development of biofuels than any other state.

The Biomass Crop Assistance Program, which was started in 2009 to encourage development of renewable fuels, has provided more than $34.8 million in payments through 386 contracts with Maine growers and companies during the past two federal budget years.

“Domestic production of renewable energy, including biofuels, is a national imperative and that’s why USDA is working to assist in developing a biofuels industry in every corner of the nation,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. “By producing more biofuels in America, we will create jobs, combat global warming, replace our dependence on foreign oil and build a stronger foundation for the 21st century economy.”

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