WASHINGTON, D.C. – (July 3, 2001) – Today the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced its support for two bills introduced in the House designed to increase funding for biomass use and to support new biorefinery development.

On June 28, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), chairman of the Energy Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, introduced the  Bioenergy Act of 2001  - H.R. 2358, which would provide $49 million per year for five years to support biomass research and development.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) introduced the  Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Act of 2001 on June 27. This bill contains a number of clean energy initiatives as well as funding for biomass research and development beyond the $49 million included in Bartlett's bill.

BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum said,  America's biotechnology companies are developing novel enzymes that will allow us to convert biomass to clean-burning transportation fuel and green plastics. This legislation is needed to help accelerate this work. 

 Congressmen Bartlett and Woolsey should be commended for their efforts to stimulate this enterprise,  said Feldbaum.

The two bills will be part of the House Science Committee Energy package, which is scheduled for mark-up on July 11. Vice-President Cheney's Energy Policy Task Force has also been supportive of developing new biomass energy production methods.

BIO represents more than 950 biotechnology companies, academic
institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S.
states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and
development of health care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.