On June 11, the Ecological Society of America hosted House and Senate briefings on The Sustainability of Cellulosic Biofuels. Speakers included Dr. Phil Robertson, Michigan State University (MSU) and Sustainability Thrust Lead for the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), Dr. Doug Landis, MSU and the GLBRC, and Dr. Madhu Khanna, University of Illinois, who conducts research with the BP Energy Biosciences Institute. They described the superiority, measured by energy return, of cellulosic biofuels as compared with grain-based sources, such as corn.
Dr. Robertson, the chief scientist for an OBER/USDA Sustainability Workshop planned for October 2008, described other advantages of cellulosic crops, including its ability to grow on land not suitable for food crops, its potential to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions, and its benefits for clean water and air. Dr. Landis spoke about the environmental value of maintaining high levels of biodiversity through the use of cellulosic crops, and Dr. Khannabiofuel spoke about the need to align energy policy and climate policy to properly guide cellulosic production. A summary handout including links to the presentations is available at http://www.esa.org/pao/policyActivities/briefing062008.php.
Contact: John Houghton, SC-23.2, (301) 903-8288
SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
(formerly SC-23.2 Medical Sciences Division, OBER)
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