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In an effort to meet President Bush's "Twenty in Ten" goal and meet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) the Biomass Research and Development Board (the Board)-co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-developed the National Biofuels Action Plan (NBAP) to accelerate the development of a sustainable biofuels industry.

To meet increasing demand, we must continue to advance solutions that improve our energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions - our economic competitiveness, national security, and environmental health depend on it.

Biomass Research and Development Board

The Board determined that meeting aggressive production targets requires enhanced interagency collaboration among the senior decision makers from 10 federal agencies and the White House. The NBAP identifies key research challenges and defines clear interagency actions critical to developing the science and technology needed to make next-generation, cellulosic biofuels cost-effective so as to grow a biofuels industry and supply chain in a sustainable manner.

NBAP action areas include:

  • Sustainability: A working group led by USDA, DOE, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is defining science-based national criteria, which will be established by November 2008, and indicators to assess the sustainability of biofuels production coordinated with ongoing international activities.
  • Feedstock Production: A Board-commissioned interagency working group conducted a feedstock availability and cost study using EISA production targets. A separate Board working group is developing a long-term integrated feedstock research and development plan across the federal government, which will reach completion by December 2008.
  • Feedstock Logistics:  A working group led by USDA will facilitate collaboration to develop and deploy logistics systems that can supply cellulosic feedstocks to demonstration facilities.
  • Conversion Science and Technology: A working group composed of DOE, USDA, EPA, National Science Foundation (NSF), and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is collaborating to develop a 10-year federal science and technology research plan by December 2008 for developing cost-effective means of biomass conversion and production of cellulosic biofuels.
  • Distribution Infrastructure: A U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-led group is studying the feasibility of transporting ethanol in pipelines and assessing the availability of geographic information system (GIS) capabilities across agencies.
  • Blending: The Board has approved a statement on blending ethanol with gasoline in amounts greater than 10 percent (E10) and will review results of an interagency testing program to evaluate the impact of intermediate blends on vehicle emissions and material compatibility by fall 2008.
  • Environment, Health and Safety: An EPA-led working group is inventorying federal activities and areas of jurisdiction with respect to public health, safety, and environmental protection.

For more information about the NBAP and other USDA and DOE efforts, visit the USDA's Energy webpage and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Media contact(s):

USDA: Jim Brownlee 202-720-4623
DOE: Jennifer Scoggins 202-586-4940