June 30, 2007

June 2007 Digest

Vision plus Collaboration Form a Sustainable Industry

"Renewable Energy promotes world peace."

Those are the words of BBI International CEO Mike Bryan as he opened the Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) conference in St. Louis last week. What followed was two days spent assimilating the industry's breathtaking advances this year while inspiring multi-sector collaboration and environmental sustainability commitment for the future.

The location's landmark "Gateway Arch"
was emblematic of the overarching character of the renewable biofuels industry - powerful yet clean, visionary yet achievable, classic yet romantic, inspirational yet built on a firm foundation melding science and innovation.

Society expects many interconnected industries to deliver alternatives that will break the nation's addiction to oil while mitigating greenhouse gases - cleaner energy production techniques, new low emissions vehicles, and new environmental stewardship programs to name a few.

The fossil energy paradigm was not built in a year, nor will the renewable energy paradigm be. But the explosive rush of collaborative workshops and expos will shorten the time of deployment by fostering a strong network of communication between active participants.

Below are links to stories that made June 2007 memorable.

BIOstock Blog--------------
· Forest certification programs: FSC, SFI, and Tree Farm
· Salvaging wood from natural disasters
· Nexterra Gasifies Wood Residue-to-Fuel

BIOconversion Blog--------------
· U.S. Congress unanimous - "Make 25x'25 happen!"
· Diversa and Celunol merge diversified enzyme portfolios
· U.S. D.O.E. funds 3 Bioenergy Research Centers
· U.S. D.O.E./E.I.A. International Energy Outlook 2007
· Fuel Ethanol Workshop promotes vision and collaboration

BIOoutput Blog--------------
· U.S. Congress introduces Federal RPS legislation
· Bioethanol or Biodiesel - Which is better?
· Pipeline research for ethanol transport
· Ethanol Boosting Systems for Automobiles
· GM's "green image" challenge in L.A.

BIOwaste Blog--------------
· Green Waste Gasified to Electricity in CA

Each month we provide a similar breakdown of article titles from our favorite "companion" site - Biopact Blog. This list is kept current and is accessible in the right hand column of each of the three blogs.

Please forward a link to this digest to anyone you know who would be interested in keeping track of change that will affect us all. They can add their name to the mailing list on the BioConversion Blog.

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Fuel Ethanol Workshop promotes vision and collaboration

The 2007 Fuel Ethanol Workshop was informative, thought provoking, and inspirational. Its scope was very broad. While enumerating the many benefits of a robust renewable energy paradigm, it also sought to promote greater collaboration between capitalism and environmentalism. It sought to stretch the range of feedstock beyond corn to cellulosic raw materials. And it provided many opportunities for attendees, embarked on a globally important quest, to meet and learn from each other how to achieve their goals.

Gateway to the Future

Symbolically, the choice of venue couldn't have more appropriate. It was held at the America's Center just west of St. Louis' inspirational Gateway Arch. Millions marvel at the futuristic elegance of its gleaming structure.

Between the vaulting legs of the arch is the underground Jefferson National Expansion Memorial - a contemporary reminder of the pioneering American spirit and its tireless urge to explore. In 1803 Thomas Jefferson oversaw the Louisiana Purchase that doubled the size of the country. He predicted it would take "a thousand years to settle." It took less than a hundred. This demonstrates that even a visionary as prodigious as Jefferson can dramatically underestimate the character and energy of his countrymen and the draw such vision represents to people around the world - many of whom immigrated to settle in the new territory. We are clearly at the gateway to a new era for emerging technologies that will transform the world energy paradigm and impact the exercise of freedom everywhere.

Building a globally important industry

The sense that biofuels companies are not just on the threshold of forming a globally important industry but also of insuring the humanitarian sustainability of future generations was highlighted during the opening session. BBI International hosts the conference and its CEO, Mike Bryan spoke eloquently to the attendees about the importance of the renewable fuels quest in global terms:

You are here to build an industry.

You represent a stronger economy - not just a stronger rural economy, but also a stronger urban economy because a rising tide raises all ships.

You also represent energy independence and energy security. Renewable energy promotes world peace. A new age in energy. When the oil wells and the oil refineries of today are nothing more than rusted relics of a past generation, renewable energy will continue to supply clean domestically produced energy not only to this country but also to countries all around the world.

We hope that soon, someday soon, we no longer will go to war over oil and that it is just simply a faded memory.

The need for both capitalism and environmentalism

Bryan was equally passionate when he spoke about the need for capitalists and environmentalists to work together:
You represent a cleaner environment. There’s been a lot of discussion over the years about capitalism and the environmentalism. They never seem to have gotten together, have they? That needs to change. We need to work with environmentalists.

You know what? Wealth creates pollution. Wealth needs to solve the pollution problem in this world. Capitalism alone is haughty, environmentalism alone is weak. But when we combine the two together we have something that can actually change the world.

It's okay to make money, it's okay to be profitable, that's a good thing. But as capitalists, as people who are in business to generate revenue and generate profit, we need to think about how we can create a better environment. We always need to be thinking about how we can collaborate with the environmental movement around the world.

To emphasize the importance of the environmental message, the keynote address was presented by Karen Coshof from Stonehaven Productions, Executive Producer of The Great Warming, a documentary about the threat of global warming and the need for "enlightened corporations, religious institutions, environmental and political leaders to recognize our moral responsibility to be stewards of the Earth today and for future generations."
Our time to stabilize global climate is shrinking fast. You are all working to move the world to a new and, I hope, a more sustainable energy paradigm. When you make your decisions and talk to each other over the next few days, factor in your children's future because failure is not an option.

Expanding the role of renewable biofuels

Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association reflected on the immense change that has taken place over the last few years when he said:
50% of the nation's fuel is blended with ethanol. Every single gallon of gasoline sold in New York and California is blended with ethanol. Every single gallon of gasoline sold in Houston, Texas - where big oil executives have to drive to work each day on your fuel - is testament to how far we have come. But we surely have a long way to go.

We have to remind people that technology is not stagnant – that we are going to get greater and greater yields from an acre of corn. That technology is going to allow us to satisfy demand for grain used in feed, fuel, and fiber throughout this country.

We need to get the message out that... the price of gasoline has a far greater impact on consumer food prices than does a bushel of corn.

A recent poll that was done revealed that more than three out of every four Americans believe we need to be doing much more. We need to be maximizing production and use of renewable fuels like ethanol.

Congress has got that message. Congress saw what the Renewable Fuel Standard has done for our industry.

Diversifying ethanol feedstock

One way to maximize production of renewable fuels is to incorporate the use of a greater range of biomass feedstock. Poet President Jeff Broin announced a new project that will use corn cobs and corn fiber as the feedstock for their commercial cellulosic ethanol production facility that will be jointly funded with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Numerous workshops shed light on advancements in cellulosic biomass conversion into ethanol. Of the six D.O.E. "Section 932" award winners, four made presentations about their processes including Abengoa, Poet, Alico (and their technology partner, BRI), and BlueFire. However, other workshops dealt with issues that were important to all ethanol production processes.

Workshop 3 dealt with logistics and the transportation grid that currently exists to service the growing industry. Sandra Dearden, President of Highroad Consulting, Ltd. made a strong point during her presentation on "Integrating Transportation: Planning for Future Growth" that rail service is not on a trajectory that will adequately service the anticipated needs of the ethanol industry. When asked about future volume capacity, Sandra responded:
The thing that scares me the most is that the freight volume is likely to double within the next 14 years. It takes two years for a railroad to receive an ordered locomotive. It takes about ten months to get someone trained to be on a crew to be on a locomotive. And, at the same time, we don't have the infrastructure capacity. The railroads have gone to the House (of Representatives) and asked for assistance for funding additional railroad infrastructure.

The current status of Carbon Credits

Workshop 7 was titled "Greenhouse Gases: Capitalizing on Carbon Credits." Should a cap and trade mechanism be fully implemented nationwide, the value of GHG emissions is estimated to represent $50-$300 billion dollars by 2020 (US Congressional Budget Office). Keeping abreast of the carbon credit systems that are developed may spell the difference between survival and bankrupcy for many developers.

How can we use carbon credits to provide incentives for responsible industry behavior without undermining the financial stability of existing leveraged corporations? If a carbon credit system is used, what input will be taken into account? The answers will tend to be regionalized state-by-state. In the meantime, experts are developing tools to calculate the value of carbon credits based on a complex set of data input. Once of these is the BEACCON model, implemented in Excel®. which is free to download from http://lifecycleassociates.com/beaccon.php.
The BEACCON (Biofuels Emissions and Cost Connection) model allows ethanol producers to evaluate the potential impacts on production costs of the global warming intensity (GWI) of different biofuel production pathways. Version 1.0 of the model focuses on ethanol plants with a capacity range between 50 and 100 million gallons per year.

Another computational model is being developed by the University of Nebraska called the Biofuel Energy Systems Simulator (BESS). It will be released July 20th for free download.
The Biofuel Energy Systems Simulator (BESS) model provides a holistic “cradle-to-grave” analysis of energy use and net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during the entire biofuel production cycle—including crop production, ethanol conversion, and by-product use and waste disposal via associated cattle feedlots and anaerobic biodigestion systems. The model estimates the net energy efficiency and net GHG emissions for each component of the biofuel production life cycle and also for the integrated system as a whole.

James Murphy of Carbon Green, LLC was on hand to provide an introduction to the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) - which trades Carbon Financial Instrument™ (CFI) contracts.
CCX members make a voluntary but legally binding commitment to meet annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets. Those who reduce below the targets have surplus allowances to sell or bank; those who emit above the targets comply by purchasing CCX CFI contracts.

Notably, the U.S. Congress recently passed an appropriations bill amendment instructing the House to join the CCX - which requests that the House Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) purchase Carbon Financial Instruments from American projects through the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) to offset carbon produced by all House operations after renewable energy and efficiency improvements are made.

New Technologies

The new technologies addressed by FEW workshops this year included four of the six D.O.E. "Section 932" award winners mentioned earlier.

Bob Wooley, Principal Engineer from NREL/DOE gave an illuminating presentation on how his organization is helping the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) plant and cultivate emerging technology development in the private sector. He talked about the dynamics and economics for expanding the fuel supply chain with a focus on two complex areas of the problem - feedstock supply and capital investment. They have developed a model called STELLA™ to understand how DOE activities might influence the ultimate ethanol deployment and explore what else (outside of DOE) might be needed to reach the desired deployment levels.

Other technologies included a DOE look at the emissions and performance characteristics of the SAAB 9-5 BioPower automobile and how the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company is developing plans to displace over 90% of its fossil fuel usage with renewable biomass.

Hurdles to Deployment of E85

The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) held a special workshop on E85 during which their Director of Operations, Robert White, updated information about Underwriters Laboratories (UL) who rescinded E85 pump and pump component certification in September and October of 2006. This sent a chill through the distribution service industry for ethanol. There is now a process that is being developed to create standards for submitting equipment for certification and UL approval.

Back in February 2007 UL did complete a survey of dispensers across the country that concluded that E85 equipment has not resulted in any significant safety problems. A separate Brazil survey concluded in May 2007 rendered similar results. UL is now working inhouse to develop new standards which it hopes will be completed and published by December of 2007. It is anticipated that it will take a while to pass certification and it will not be until the fourth quarter of 2008 that there will be UL certified dispensers on the street.

The consequences have not completely curtailed deployment of pumps because some manufacturers are providing special warrants on safety and security in the absence of UL certification. However, this is an issue for the big box retailers (WalMart and others) and in Hawaii a program to install 25 E85 pumps was halted by the Fire Marshal because of the lack of UL approval.

Carl Donges from Clean Fuels USA talked about some equipment that his company represents that will have a big impact on how ethanol is dispensed now and will in the future. Texas based CleanFUEL USA has established itself as the leading global manufacturer of certified and approved alternative fuel dispensing equipment for both propane (LPG) and E85 and has expanded its role as an industry leader by providing comprehensive alternative motor fuel programs for fleet managers throughout the world.

Not only do they currently market dedicated pumps for dispensing ethanol but they also sell retrofitting kits and even pumps that blend different percentages of pure ethanol with standard gasoline at the dispensing station.

During Workshop 14 Jim Stewart of BRI made a presentation promoting the conversion of waste-to-ethanol using a thermochemical process. He used the occasion to launch a scathing attack accusing Big Oil companies of attempting to control renewable energy development so as to mitigate the possible negative impacts on their established businesses:
The public face of Big Oil appears to be committed to a transition between petroleum to alternative energy. But its private face is providing funds to educational institutions and think tanks that are generating unfavorable studies or otherwise opposing ethanol as a substitute for gasoline - and in subtle ways Big Oil is taking other steps to slow its expansion.

He then listed several high profile instances that he felt demonstrated the conflict of interest between the funding of educational institutions by Big Oil and subsequent research announcements detrimental to ethanol's image in the press. It is a touchy subject to be addressed at FEW because the oil companies, with their refineries that blend ethanol into their gasoline to meet state standards, are the primary customers of ethanol producers.

The promise of renewable fuel development will depend upon the collaboration of competing stakeholder interests (academia, business, social, environmental, and political) while correcting public misperceptions as reported in the press. The call is being raised for insightful leaders who can see and develop the common ground shared by these many sectors. Clearly, not all sectors were equally represented at FEW 2007, but the workshops stimulated multi-interest discourse and provided a forum for industry leaders to learn from each other.

For more information, see BBI's own publication for a Ethanol Producer recap

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June 26, 2007

U.S. D.O.E. funds 3 Bioenergy Research Centers

The U.S. Department of Energy announced today the formalization and funding of three individual research centers throughout the country devoted to making advances on biomass conversion technologies for the creation of renewable energy.

The establishment of the bioenergy research centers culminates a six-year effort by DOE’s Office of Science to lay the foundation for breakthroughs in systems biology for the cost-effective production of renewable energy. In July 2006, DOE’s Office of Science issued a joint biofuels research agenda with the Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy titled Breaking the Biological Barriers to Cellulosic Ethanol. The report provides a detailed roadmap for cellulosic ethanol research, identifying key roadblocks and areas where scientific breakthroughs are needed.

Here is more of their press release:

Energy Department Selects Three Bioenergy Research Centers for $375 Million in Federal Funding
Basic Genomics Research Furthers President Bush’s Plan to Reduce Gasoline Usage 20 Percent in Ten Year

U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman today announced that DOE will invest up to $375 million in three new Bioenergy Research Centers that will be located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Madison, Wisconsin; and near Berkeley, California. The Centers are intended to accelerate basic research in the development of cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels, advancing President Bush’s Twenty in Ten Initiative, which seeks to reduce U.S. gasoline consumption by 20 percent within ten years through increased efficiency and diversification of clean energy sources. The Department plans to fund the Centers for the first five years of operation (Fiscal Years 2008-2013).
“These Centers will provide the transformational science needed for bioenergy breakthroughs to advance President Bush’s goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive with gasoline by 2012, and assist in reducing America’s gasoline consumption by 20 percent in ten years,” Secretary Bodman said. “The collaborations of academic, corporate, and national laboratory researchers represented by these centers are truly impressive and I am very encouraged by the potential they hold for advancing America’s energy security.”

To bring the latest tools of the biotechnology revolution to bear to advance clean energy production, the Centers will be supported by multidisciplinary teams of top scientists. A major focus will be on understanding how to reengineer biological processes to develop new, more efficient methods for converting the cellulose in plant material into ethanol or other biofuels that serve as a substitute for gasoline. This research is critical because future biofuels production will require the use of feedstocks more diverse than corn, including cellulosic material like agricultural residues, grasses, poplar trees, inedible plants, and non-edible portions of crops.

The Centers will bring together diverse teams of researchers from 18 of the nation’s leading universities, seven DOE national laboratories, at least one nonprofit organization, and a range of private companies. All three Centers are located in geographically distinct areas and will use different plants both for laboratory research and for improving feedstock crops.

The mission of the Bioenergy Research Centers will lie at the frontier between basic and applied science, and will maintain a focus on bioenergy applications. These Centers aim to identify real steps toward practical solutions regarding to the challenge of producing renewable, carbon-neutral energy. At the same time, the Centers will be grounded in basic research, pursuing alternative avenues and a range of high-risk, high-return approaches to finding solutions. To some degree, one key to the Centers’ success will be their ability to develop the more basic dimensions of their research to a point that can easily transition to applied research.

The Department’s three Bioenergy Research Centers will include:
The DOE BioEnergy Science Center led by the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The Center Director will be Martin Keller, and collaborators include: Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia; DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado; University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia; Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire; and the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center will be led by the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, in close collaboration with Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. The Center Director will be Timothy Donohue, and other collaborators include: DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington; Lucigen Corporation in Middleton, Wisconsin; University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida; DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois; and Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

The DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute will be led by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The Institute Director will be Jay Keasling, and collaborators include: Sandia National Laboratories; DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; University of California - Berkeley; University of California - Davis; and Stanford University in Stanford, California.

Read additional information on DOE’s biofuels initiatives

Additional information is available on the Department’s three Bioenergy Research Centers and the Department’s Genomics Research Programs.

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June 21, 2007

Diversa and Celunol merge diversified industrial enzyme portfolios

Two dynamic cellulosic ethanol development companies have completed their merger transaction and are now renamed "Verenium Corporation." Both companies received investment backing by Khosla Ventures.

Massachusetts-based Celunol has distinguished itself as an innovator of a bacterial fermentation process for the conversion of glucose to ethanol. They have been participating in the commercial-scale development of wet bioconversion facilities using wood scraps as feedstock in Osaka, Japan and a demonstration plant in Jennings, Louisiana for the bioconversion of sugar cane bagasse (shown in picture).

San Diego-based Diversa is best known for its development of enzymes to convert pre-treated cellulosic biomass economically to mixed sugars – a critical step in the process of biofuel production. They claim to possess the world’s broadest array of enzymes derived from bio-diverse environments as well as patented DirectEvolution® technologies (state-of-the-art gene evolution technologies that enable the optimization of proteins at the DNA level).

Diversa and Celunol Complete Merger to Create Verenium Corporation, a Leader in the Emerging Biofuels Industry

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and SAN DIEGO, June 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diversa Corporation (Nasdaq: DVSA) and Celunol Corp. announced today that they have completed their previously-announced merger transaction to create a new leader in the global biofuels industry. The combined company, which has been renamed Verenium Corporation, possesses a growing portfolio of specialty enzyme products and unique technical and operational capabilities designed to enable the production of low-cost, biomass-derived sugars for a multitude of major industrial applications. The most significant near-term commercial opportunity for Verenium will be the large-scale commercial production of cellulosic ethanol derived from multiple biomass feedstocks. In connection with the corporate name change, the Company has also changed its NASDAQ ticker symbol from "DVSA" to "VRNM" and will begin trading under the new ticker symbol effective June 21, 2007.

Stockholders of both companies approved the merger and merger-related proposals earlier today, and all regulatory approvals and closing conditions have been satisfied.

"We are pleased that our respective shareholders have approved our merger and believe their support reinforces our belief in the compelling investment proposition afforded by this transaction," said Carlos A. Riva, President and Chief Executive Officer of Verenium. "After several months of diligent integration planning between the two companies, we are excited to become a single organization and are confident that the transaction represents a unique opportunity for our partners, employees, and shareholders."

"Verenium is now positioned to be a vertically-integrated leader in the rapidly-evolving worldwide biofuels industry through the unique combination of assets, technologies, and personnel resulting from this merger. We believe that commercial success in this industry requires broad R&D capabilities and asset development expertise, which we have now brought together within one, highly-focused company, Verenium Corporation."

Verenium begins operations with numerous unique attributes, including:
• Fully-integrated, end-to-end capabilities in pre-treatment, novel enzyme development, fermentation, engineering, and project development;
• One of the only operational cellulosic ethanol pilot plants in the United States;
• A 1.4 million gallon-per-year demonstration-scale facility, currently under construction, to produce cellulosic ethanol from sugarcane bagasse and specially-bred energy cane;
• A diverse and growing portfolio of commercialized industrial enzyme products; and
• Over 300 issued or in-licensed patents for its technologies and processes, as well as over 450 pending patents.

Verenium will be structured and managed as three distinct, but interdependent, organizational units: Specialty Enzymes Business Unit, Biofuels Business Unit, and Research and Development.

1. The Specialty Enzymes Business Unit currently generates commercial revenue from multiple sources, including industrial enzyme product sales, technology licenses, strategic partnerships, and government grants.

2. The Biofuels Business Unit will be primary focused on the commercial-scale production and sale of cellulosic ethanol from company-managed production facilities throughout the US, as well as strategic partnerships and related revenue arrangements around the world.

3. The Research and Development organization's primary goal will be to support both Verenium Business Units, as well as various existing strategic collaborative partners. As of March 31, 2007, the Company had cash, cash-equivalents, and short-term investments on hand of approximately $125.5 million, which, together with approximately $20 million received in early April from the exercise of an over-allotment option related to the recent convertible notes offering, it believes to be sufficient to fund operations through at least 2008.

Verenium's Board of Directors will initially consist of nine members, six from Diversa and three from Celunol, including Mr. Riva. The non-employee Board members are: Dr. James Cavanaugh, who will serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors; Peter Johnson; Fernand Kaufmann, Ph.D.; Mark Leschly; Melvin Simon, Ph.D.; Cheryl Wenzinger; Joshua Ruch; and Michael Zak.

The Company's executive management team is being led by Carlos A. Riva, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director, and John A. McCarthy, Jr., Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Verenium will be headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and have research and operations facilities in San Diego, California; Jennings, Louisiana; and Gainesville, Florida. Due to the complementary nature of the two companies and the level of development activities being pursued, the company anticipates increasing its staff in Cambridge and Jennings, as well as building additional staff over time in San Diego to support the growth of the enzyme business and research and development efforts of the Company.

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June 15, 2007

U.S. Senate - "Make 25x'25 happen!"

Congratulations to all 25x'25 champions and supporters - our collective effort has paid off. This morning the U.S. Senate adopted by unanimous consent the 25x'25 national goal resolution. The following is a press release announcing this achievement.


Bipartisan Measure Enjoys Support from Ag, Industry Environmental Leaders

The U.S. Senate today adopted by unanimous consent a resolution calling for a new national renewable energy goal: 25 percent of the nation's energy supply from renewable sources by 2025. The resolution, which builds on a vision developed by a broad coalition of agriculture, forestry, industry, and environmental leaders, was adopted by voice vote as an amendment to the energy legislation currently under consideration on the Senate floor. A final vote on the full Senate energy package is expected next week.

"The 25x'25 resolution stresses the virtue of exploring an all-inclusive renewable energy strategy by emphasizing the need to cultivate energy from all kinds of renewable resources, such as wind, biomass, solar, hydropower and geothermal sources," said lead sponsor, Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO). The 25x'25 vision "is bold and fully attainable. If implemented, it would dramatically improve our energy security, our economy, and our ability to protect the environment and combat global warming," he added.

Salazar, who was joined by 33 other Senate members from both sides of the aisle in supporting the resolution, said 25x'25 "sets a policy goal for our nation" that "complements" the energy package under debate. The goal calls for 25 percent of the nation's energy needs being met with renewable resources from farms, forests and ranches by 2025. The amendment also reinforces the 25x'25 principle that the U.S. agricultural and forestry industries, while producing renewable energy, will continue to produce safe, abundant and affordable food feed and fiber."
J. Read Smith, co-chair of the 25x'25 Steering Committee, expressed the alliance's gratitude to the resolution's sponsors, calling the vote an important first step on the road to a new energy future. "This action demonstrates that policymakers recognize the crucial role that our nation's farms, ranches and forests can play in improving energy security while enhancing the environment and strengthening our economy," Smith said.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), another co-sponsor, said the pending energy legislation "is an appropriate place to include the 25x'25 resolution. The 25x'25 vision sets workable goals for renewable energy production and use that we can all aim for with sensible policies and initiatives." Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who is also a lead co-sponsor, said "energy security is tied to national security and also means income and economic opportunity for agriculture and rural America. If we are to attain national energy and economic security for our nation, we must reach these aggressive but achievable energy goals." Harkin added, "The 25x'25 plan had very broad consensus support, which helped the Senate incorporate these proposals into our new energy policy."

Co-sponsor, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), said "addressing the climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges America faces today. Any comprehensive strategy to fight climate change must include a strong renewable energy standard in addition to a low carbon fuel standard, raised fuel economy standards, and incentives to promote efficiency. This bipartisan resolution will make an unprecedented goal for producing 25 percent of America's energy from renewable sources by 2025." And co-sponsor, Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) noted that "global oil and natural gas reserves are concentrated in tumultuous regions that include nations hostile to the United States. Our national security and economic prosperity demand that we move to a sustainable energy future. Ambitious targets that help motivate innovation are crucial. I applaud members of the 25x'25 coalition for providing a vision for renewable fuels,"
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), another co-sponsor, said that "in order to ensure our national energy security, America must develop a broad spectrum of renewable energy resources. The agenda of 25x'25 will help this country to meet its 21st century energy needs and ensure reliable and environmentally-friendly domestic energy sources for future generations."

The resolution has the support of more than 500 national, regional and local agricultural, forestry, business, energy, environmental and labor organizations; and more than a third of the nation's governors and 10 state legislatures. A similar resolution (H. Con. Res. 25), is pending in the House of Representatives.

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June 1, 2007

Biopact: June 2007 Digest

Biopact Blog writes many stories that are relevant to the study of BIOstock, BIOconversion, BIOoutput, and BIOwaste.

Rather than summarize and reprint excerpts from this excellent source of information, a breakdown of each month's most relevant titles is provided in one updated article...

U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy announce new US$ 18 million sollicitation for biomass R & D
Mendel and BP collaborate on grass breeding for cellulosic biofuels
Scientists debate benefits of low-input high-diversity grassland bioenergy systems
Study: soil maintenance needed to ensure sustainability of cellulosic biofuels
Study: greenhouse gas balance of different energy cropping systems
Chile's first CDM project based on biomass avoids 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions
Foss and DuPont launch analytical instrument that estimates ethanol yield potential of grain

India's Praj Industries launches biofuel operations in Brazil
Researchers produce ethanol from syngas in carbon nanotubes
Joint Genome Institute announces 2008 genome sequencing targets with focus on bioenergy and carbon cycle
The bioeconomy at work: book looks at current state of biorefining
China EnerSave retrofits coal plants to burn biomass
German consortium starts production of ultra-clean synthetic biofuels
Syntroleum and Tyson Foods to produce ultra-clean synthetic biofuels
UOP to develop biofuel technology for military jets
California universities develop innovative process for thermochemical conversion of biomass

German biodiesel industry faces collapse over taxes, US subsidies, competition from the South
Japanese citizens 'keen' on using ethanol to tackle climate change - poll
New York City to heat its buildings with biofuels