Republican News

Republican News

Jun 26 2007

Domenici Praises New DOE Bioenergy Research Centers

Senator Played Key Role in Shaping Program

 
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today praised an announcement by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that it will invest $375 million in three major Bioenergy Research Centers to advance basic research on biofuels.  Among the collaborators in the program will be Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M.
 
Domenici played a major role in the development of the program, including urging broader, geographic centers instead of more narrow centers focused only on specific areas of research.  In May 2006, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report reinforcing Domenici’s call.
 
The program announced today by the Department of Energy is similar to one required in energy legislation that was passed by the Senate last week (HR.6), which Domenici and Senator Jeff Bingaman included in Energy-Committee passed legislation.
 
“I applaud Secretary Bodman and the Department of Energy for announcing that DOE will invest $375 million in three new Bioenergy Research Centers.  I believe that diversifying our fuel supply should be a major part of a comprehensive energy plan, as evidenced by the robust biofuels provisions I helped draft in the energy bill that passed the Senate last week.  These centers will help us make breakthroughs that will lead to the development of advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol, which would will allow us to displace gasoline with a cleaner fuel that places much less strain on our resources,” Domenici said.
 
“I’m pleased that the Department has decided to set up geographically diverse Bioenergy Research Centers that will take advantage of the unique natural resources and human talent available in the southeast, Great Lakes, and the west.  I’m particularly excited that Sandia National Laboratories will collaborate on this program.  This is precisely the type of science-related lab activity that will help Sandia continue to thrive,” he continued. 
 
The Centers will incorporate researchers from 18 universities, seven national laboratories, a nonprofit organization and several private companies.  The Bioenergy Research Centers will focus on practical research that takes advantage of the unique plants available in the parts of the country that they are located in.
 
HR.6 contains provisions establishing seven regional Bioenergy research centers.  The structure and aims of the centers are very similar to those announced by DOE today. 
 
The three Bioenergy Research Centers will be established at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in California. 
 
Among the collaborators will be Georgia Institute of Technology, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Georgia, and University of Tennessee (Oak Ridge); Michigan State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lucigen Corporation, University of Florida, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Illinois State University and Iowa State University (Great Lakes); Sandia National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of California-Berkley, University of California-Davis, and Stanford University (Lawrence Berkley).