Energy Programs Spur Growth in Industrial Biotech Industry
“Farm Bill Energy Title Programs: Timeline of a Successful Policy Initiative” (download PDF ) is a visual representation of the progress and results of Farm Bill energy programs. It shows commercial biorefineries across the United States, some of which have been operating for as many as 10 years and others that are under construction.
May of 2002 saw the enactment of the first-ever Farm Bill Energy Title that involved a comprehensive approach to agriculture energy development and a focus on developing renewable energy, including biofuels and biobased products.
Renewable energy is cleaner, safer and healthier. Biotechnology has the ability to unlock the potential of agriculture and forestry to create new opportunities for rural economic prosperity and energy security. Specific energy title programs enacted in 2008 including the Biorefinery Assistance Program, Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) and the Biobased Markets Program help new technologies become a commercial reality.
Farm Bill energy programs have had a tremendous positive impact in revitalizing rural America, helping new agricultural markets emerge, and reducing the need for direct payments to farmers. These programs have unlocked private capital for construction of the nation’s first cellulosic and advanced biofuel biorefineries; put more than 150,000 acres of underutilized farmland in more than 150 counties into production raising next generation energy crops; and led to an explosion of renewable chemicals innovation, demonstration and early commercialization here in the United States. For a modest federal investment a high rate of return has been achieved in terms of viable projects funded and operating.
This document  provides visible evidence that the Farm Bill energy title programs are working. The programs are spurring growth and innovation as the United States works to build a biobased economy, generating additional jobs in manufacturing, agricultural production and forestry, transportation and distribution, and construction, as biorefineries are built in every region of the United States, in traditional manufacturing regions and in rural areas.