National Biofuels Plan Unveiled

Officials have unveiled the National Biofuels Action Plan (NBAP), an interagency plan detailing the collaborative efforts of federal agencies to accelerate the development of a sustainable biofuels industry.

“Federal leadership can provide the vision for research, industry, and citizens to understand how the nation will become less dependent on foreign oil and create strong rural economies,” says U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer. “This National Biofuels Action Plan supports the drive for biofuels growth to supply energy that is clean and affordable, and always renewable.”

The NBAP was developed in response to President George W. Bush’s plans to change the way America fuels its transportation fleets in the 2007 State of the Union Address. The President’s “Twenty In Ten” goal calls for cutting U.S. gasoline consumption by 20 percent over the next 10 years by investing in renewable and alternative fuel sources, increasing vehicle efficiency, and developing alternative fuel vehicles.

“The National Biofuels Action Plan is a strategic blueprint that shows us the way to meet the President’s goal of meaningful biofuels production by the year 2022,” Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said. “And to do it in cost-effective, environmentally-responsible ways that utilize a science-based approach to ensure the next generation of biofuels that are made primarily from feedstocks outside the food supply that are produced sustainably.”

To enhance the impact of federal biofuels investments and enable attainment of the Renewable Fuel Standard, the NBAP outlines interagency actions and accelerated federally supported research efforts in seven areas — sustainability, feedstock production, feedstock logistics, conversion science and technology, distribution infrastructure, blending, and environment, health, and safety.

Interagency working groups have been chartered with near term deadlines to deliver such key results as: the development of science-based sustainability criteria and indicators, 10- year R&D forecasts for research to develop cost-effective methods of producing cellulosic biofuels from non-food based feedstock, to advance these next generation biofuels to commercialization, and recommendations on infrastructure issues.

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