USDA and the Department of Energy have released the National Biofuels Action Plan, an interagency plan detailing the collaborative efforts to accelerate efforts to create a sustainable biofuels industry.

The plan was developed in response to President Bush's "20 in 10" goal to cut U.S. gasoline consumption by 20 percent in the next 10 years by investing in renewable and alternative fuel sources.

According to DOE Secretary Samuel Bodman, the plan is meant to be a strategic blueprint to meet biofuels production goals by 2022 "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, are produced sustainably."

Corn-based ethanol production, which suddently raised the competition for corn among ethanol, animal and human use and consequently escalated prices, has been controversial. 

This new plan outlines interagency actions in seven areas, including sustainability; feeedstock production; feedstock logistics; conversion science and technology; distribution infrastructure; blending; and environment, health and safety.

The interagency working groups now have near-term deadlines to deliver the following

  • Sience-based sustainability criteria and indicators
  • 10-year research and development forecasts to develop cost-effective methods of producing cellulosic biofuels from non-food based feedstock and advance these biofuels to commercialization
  • Recommendations on infrastructure issues.

For more information about the NBAP and other USDA and DOE energy efforts, go to  usda.gov/energy and eere.energy.gov.

Source: USDA, Meatingplace.com