Snap Fact #246
Another Obama Eco-Friendly Scheme: Development and Usage of Biobased Products Helps Farmers while Helping Our Ecology!
The President often says that he will move forward on important issues that the stalemated Congress refuses to act on. After three very frustrating years with an opposition that arrogantly shuts down so many programs that America needs, the President has been acting to move the country forward. His weapons are Presidential Memorandums along with Executive Orders, both well established and legitimate tools for a President to use when the congress is in a sorry state like our 112th has been.

President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum on February 22, 2012, directing the Federal Government to dramatically increase the purchase of biobased products over the next two years. The Memorandum, he says, will result in a 50% increase in the number of new biobased products such as paints, soaps and detergents that are developed from plants, rather than chemicals or petroleum. 

Biobased products marry the two most important economic engines for rural America: agriculture and manufacturing. The directive will create green jobs and drive innovation in areas where biobased products are grown and manufactured, he says.

On April 10, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that 13 additional biobased product categories would be eligible for Federal procurement preference. Now more than 1,500 additional biobased products will be offered for preferred purchasing consideration by all Federal government agencies and contractors.
 
“There are now more than 10,000 products qualifying for preferred procurement under USDA's BioPreferred program" said Vilsack. "Including previously designated items, these 13 additional biobased product categories will help feed the President's initiative by offering even more products with federal procurement preference." 
The 13 additional biobased product categories are:  

1. air fresheners and deodorizers 
2. asphalt and tar removers 
3. asphalt restorers
4. blast media
5. candles and wax melts
6. electronic components cleaners
7. floor coverings (non-carpet)
8. foot care products
9. furniture cleaners and protectors
10. inks 
11. packing and insulating materials 
12. pneumatic equipment lubricants 
13. wood and concrete stains

Creating new markets for the nation's agricultural products through biobased manufacturing is one of the many steps the Administration has taken over the past three years to strengthen the rural economy. Since August 2011, the White House Rural Council has supported a broad spectrum of rural initiatives including a $350 million commitment in SBA funding to rural small businesses over the next 5 years, launching a series of conferences to connect investors with rural start-ups, creating capital marketing teams to pitch federal funding opportunities to private investors interested in making rural and making job search information available at 2,800 local USDA offices nationwide. 

Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council – chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – the President is committed to a smarter use of existing Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.