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Environment

Industry seeks biofuels funding

March 20, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 12

The biotechnology industry is urging Congress to provide the money and loan guarantees authorized in last year's energy bill for biofuels programs. "Congress needs to step up to the plate and make these appropriations," James C. Greenwood, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, said at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on March 13. BIO released a letter to lawmakers requesting full funding for programs that would support research and development into advanced cellulosic ethanol production, support private investment in biorefinery construction, and provide loan guarantees and market incentives for rapid adoption of motor fuels made from biomass-based alternatives to petroleum products. The Energy Policy Act signed into law by President George W. Bush in August 2005 authorized $213 million for the Energy Department's biomass and biorefinery R&D program in fiscal 2007. However, Bush's budget proposal asks Congress to provide only $150 million. The industry is also asking Congress to provide the full $49 million for a DOE program that supports research for bioprocessing and $250 million in conversion assistance grants for biorefinery construction.

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