U.S. Forest Service Requests Proposals for Woody Biomass Utilization Grants
On September 18, 2007, the U.S. Forest Service announced a request for grant proposals for projects relating to the utilization of woody biomass from National Forest System Lands. The Woody Biomass Utilization Grant Program was established as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to aid in forest restoration activities by using and creating markets for small-diameter material and low-value trees removed as part of restoration operations, including hazardous fuels reduction treatments and treatments to reduce insect and disease outbreaks.
USDA Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Rule Change to Rural Development Guaranteed Loans
On September 14, 2007, the USDA announced a public comment period for a proposed rule change. The rule change would combine four existing guaranteed loan programs; Community Facility, Water and Waste Disposal, Business and Industry, and Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Programs; into a unified loan platform for enhanced delivery of these programs.
USDA and U.S. Climate Change Science Program are Seeking Public Comment on New Climate Change Report
On September 11, 2007, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and USDA posted the second draft of a report on the impacts of climate change: “Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP) 4.3: The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity.” All comments received during the 45-day public comment period will be considered during preparation of the third draft.
DOE to Make Available up to $33.8 Million to Support Commercial Production of Cellulosic Biofuels
On August 28, 2007, the Department of Energy announced that they will provide up to $33.8 million, for FY08-11, to support research and development of enzyme commercialization, specifically of “hydrolytic enzymes or enzyme system preparations that can effectively saccharify pretreated lignocellulosics to produce fermentable sugars under process relevant conditions”.
New Energy Programs in House Passed Farm Bill
On July 27, 2007, the House of Representatives passed, with a of vote 231-191,The Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 (H.R. 2419). The bill includes new investments in conservation, nutrition, specialty crops (fruit and vegetable) and energy production.
USDA, DOE Announces $18 Million Solicitation for Biomass Research and Development
On June 11, 2007, the Departments of Energy and Agriculture announced that they will provide up to $18 million, for FY07, to support research and development of biobased products, biofuels, bioenergy and related processes.
EESI Releases 2007 Farm Bill Recommendations
On May 11, 2007, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute released, The 2007 Farm Bill: Policy Recommendations for Integrated Renewable Energy Production, this is an update to their 2001 farm bill recommendations, The 2002 Farm Bill: Revitalizing the Farm Economy Through Renewable Energy Development.
DOE Announces up to $200 Million in Funding for Biorefineries
On May 1, 2007, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman announced that the DOE will provide up to $200 million, from FY07 to FY11, to support the development of small-scale, (at ten percent of commercial scale), cellulosic biorefineries in the United States.
Value-Added Producer Grant Solicitation
On April 16, 2007, the Rural Business-Cooperative Service at the US Department of Agriculture announced the availability of approximately $19.3 million for Value-Added Producer Grants (Sec. 6401 of the 2002 Farm Bill).
EPA Announces Final Rule for Renewable Fuel Standard Program
On April 10, 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the finalized regulations for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program for 2007 and Beyond.