Bioenergy

BIO Calls for Federal Investments for Ethanol Production

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) urged House and Senate budget writers to invest in research and development (R&D) and support commercialization of ethanol from cellulose as outlined in the Bush Administration’s 2008 budget.

“The Administration’s budget contains funding for biofuels research that is significantly increased over last year’s budget. It also contains funding to guarantee loans for construction of modern biorefineries. This backing will help the biotechnology and ethanol industries, farmers, and the investment community work together to achieve the President’s goal of annually producing 35 billion gallons of renewable fuel within 10 years,” said Jim Greenwood, BIO President and CEO. “To rapidly increase availability of biofuels at the pump within the next few years, we must fund the necessary research into applied fundamentals, at both laboratory and commercial-scale facilities. We must start to overcome issues in supply of raw materials, conversion of new feedstocks, and distribution of biofuels now,” Greenwood added. BIO Executive Vice President Brent Erickson noted that with recent advances in industrial biotechnology, the U.S. can significantly increase production of biofuels to meet the ambitious goals set by the President. “The biotechnology and ethanol industries are ready to take fuel production to the next level… America could soon be producing a significant portion of its transportation fuel needs from crops and crop residues with the help of improved crop yields from agricultural biotechnology, increased ethanol production efficiency from industrial biotechnology, and the production of cellulosic biomass ethanol,” said Erickson.