| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 935 (rs) To amend the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 to authorize research to promote the conversion of biomass into biobased industrial products, and for other purposes. [Reported in Senate] ...
S. 935 (rs) To amend the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 to authorize research to promote the conversion of biomass into biobased industrial products, and for other purposes. [Reported in Senate] ...
106th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 935 _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES March 9, 2000 Referred to the Committee on Agriculture and in addition to the Committee on Science, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To authorize research to promote the conversion of biomass into biobased industrial products, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, TITLE I--BIOMASS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2000 SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE. This title may be cited as the ``Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000''. SEC. 102. FINDINGS. Congress finds that-- (1) conversion of biomass into biobased industrial products offers outstanding potential for benefit to the national interest through improved strategic security and balance of payments, healthier rural economies, improved environmental quality, near-zero net greenhouse gas emissions, technology export, and sustainable resource supply; (2) the key technical challenges to be overcome in order for biobased industrial products to be cost competitive are finding new technology and reducing the cost of technology for converting biomass into desired biobased industrial products; (3) biobased fuels, such as ethanol, have the clear potential to be sustainable, low cost, and high performance fuels that are compatible with both current and future transportation systems and provide near zero net greenhouse gas emissions; (4) biobased chemicals-- (A) can provide functional replacements for essentially all organic chemicals that are currently derived from petroleum; and (B) have the clear potential for environmentally benign product life cycles; (5) biobased power can provide environmental benefits, promote rural economic development, and diversify energy resource options; (6) many biomass feedstocks suitable for industrial processing show the clear potential for sustainable production, in some cases resulting in improved soil fertility and carbon sequestration; (7)(A) grain processing mills are biorefineries that produce a diversity of useful food, chemical, feed, and fuel products; and (B) technologies that result in further diversification of the range of value-added biobased industrial products can meet a key need for the grain processing industry; (8)(A) cellulosic feedstocks are attractive because of their low cost and widespread availability; and (B) research resulting in cost-effective technology to overcome the recalcitrance of cellulosic biomass would allow biorefineries to produce fuels and bulk chemicals on a very large scale, with a commensurately large realization of the benefit described in paragraph (1); (9) research into the fundamentals to understand important mechanisms of biomass conversion can be expected to accelerate the application and advancement of biomass processing technology by-- (A) increasing the confidence and speed with which new technologies can be scaled up; and (B) giving rise to processing innovations based on new knowledge; (10) the added utility of biobased industrial products developed through improvements in processing technology would encourage the design of feedstocks that would meet future needs more effectively; (11) the creation of value-added biobased industrial products would create new jobs in construction, manufacturing, and distribution, as well as new higher-valued exports of products and technology; (12)(A) because of the relatively short-term time horizon characteristic of private sector investments, and because many benefits of biomass processing are in the national interest, it is appropriate for the Federal Government to provide precommercial investment in fundamental research and research- driven innovation in the biomass processing area; and (B) such an investment would provide a valuable complement to ongoing and past governmental support in the biomass processing area; and (13) several prominent studies, including studies by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the National Research Council-- (A) support the potential for large research-driven advances in technologies for production of biobased industrial products as well as associated benefits; and (B) document the need for a focused, integrated, and innovation-driven research effort to provide the appropriate progress in a timely manner. SEC. 103. DEFINITIONS. In this title: (1) Advisory committee.--The term ``Advisory Committee'' means the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee established by section 106. (2) Biobased industrial product.--The term ``biobased industrial product'' means fuels, commercial chemicals, building materials, or electric power or heat produced from biomass. (3) Biomass.--The term ``biomass'' means any organic matter that is available on a renewable or recurring basis, including agricultural crops and trees, wood and wood wastes and residues, plants (including aquatic plants), grasses, residues, fibers, and animal wastes, municipal wastes and other waste materials. (4) Board.--The term ``Board'' means the Biomass Research and Development Board established by section 105. (5) Initiative.--The term ``Initiative'' means the Biomass Research and Development Research Initiative established under section 107. (6) Institution of higher education.--The term ``institution of higher education'' has the meaning given that term in section 1201(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1141(a)). (7) National laboratory.--The term ``national laboratory'' means a facility or group of facilities owned, leased, or operated by a Federal agency (including a contractor of the Federal agency) for the performance of research, development, or engineering. (8) Point of contact.--The term ``point of contact'' means a point of contact designated under section 104(d). (9) Processing.--The term ``processing'' means the derivation of biobased industrial products from biomass, including-- (A) feedstock production; (B) harvest and handling; (C) pretreatment or thermochemical processing; (D) fermentation; (E) catalytic processing; (F) product recovery; and (G) coproduct production. SEC. 104. COOPERATION AND COORDINATION IN BIOMASS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT. (a) In General.--The Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Energy shall cooperate with respect to, and coordinate, policies and procedures that promote research and development leading to the production of biobased industrial products. (b) Purpose.--The purpose of the cooperation and coordination shall be to-- (1) understand the key mechanisms underlying the recalcitrance of biomass for conversion into biobased industrial products; (2) develop new and cost-effective technologies that would result in large-scale commercial production of low cost and sustainable biobased industrial products; (3) ensure that biobased industrial products are developed in a manner that enhances their economic, energy security, and environmental benefits; and (4) promote the development and use of agricultural and energy crops for conversion into biobased industrial products. (c) Areas.--In carrying out this title, the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with heads of appropriate departments and agencies, shall promote research and development to-- (1) advance the availability and widespread use of energy efficient, economically competitive, and environmentally sound biobased industrial products in a manner that is consistent with the goals of the United States relating to sustainable and secure supplies of food, chemicals, and fuel; (2) ensure full consideration of Federal land and land management programs as potential feedstock resources for biobased industrial products; and (3) assess the environmental, economic, and social impact of production of biobased industrial products from biomass on a large scale. (d) Points of Contact.-- (1) In general.--To coordinate research and development programs and activities relating to biobased industrial products that are carried out by their respective Departments-- (A) the Secretary of Agriculture shall designate, as the point of contact for the Department of Agriculture, an officer of the Department of Agriculture appointed by the President to a position in the Department before the date of the designation, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate; and (B) the Secretary of Energy shall designate, as the point of contact for the Department of Energy, an officer of the Department of Energy appointed by the President to a position in the Department before the date of the designation, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. (2) Duties.--The points of contact shall jointly-- (A) assist in arranging interlaboratory and site- specific supplemental agreements for research, development, and demonstration projects relating to biobased industrial products; (B) serve as cochairpersons of the Board; (C) administer the Initiative; and (D) respond in writing to each recommendation of the Advisory Committee made under section 106. SEC. 105. BIOMASS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT BOARD. (a) Establishment.--There is established the Biomass Research and Development Board to coordinate programs within and among departments and agencies of the Federal Government for the purpose of promoting the use of biobased industrial products by-- (1) maximizing the benefits deriving from Federal grants and assistance; and (2) bringing coherence to Federal strategic planning. (b) Membership.--The Board shall consist of: (1) The point of contact of the Department of Energy designated under section 104(d)(1)(B), who shall serve as cochairperson of the Board. (2) The point of contact of the Department of Agriculture designated under section 104(d)(1)(A), who shall serve as cochairperson of the Board. (3) A senior officer of each of the following agencies who is appointed by the head of the agency and who has a rank that is equivalent to the points of contact: (A) The Department of the Interior. (B) The Environmental Protection Agency. (C) The National Science Foundation. (D) The Office of Science and Technology Policy. (4) At the option of the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Energy, other members appointed by the Secretaries (after consultation with members described in paragraphs (1) through (3)). (c) Duties.--The Board shall-- (1) coordinate research, development, and demonstration activities relating to biobased industrial products-- (A) between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy; and (B) with other departments and agencies of the Federal Government; and (2) provide recommendations to the points of contact concerning administration of this title. (d) Funding.--Each agency represented on the Board is encouraged to provide funds for any purpose under this title. (e) Meetings.--The Board shall meet at least quarterly to enable the Board to carry out the duties of the Board under subsection (c). SEC. 106. BIOMASS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE. (a) Establishment.--There is established the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee to-- (1) advise the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Agriculture and the points of contact concerning-- (A) the technical focus and direction of requests for proposals issued under the Initiative; and (B) procedures for reviewing and evaluating the proposals; (2) facilitate consultations and partnerships among Federal and State agencies, agricultural producers, industry, consumers, the research community, and other interested groups to carry out program activities relating to the Initiative; and (3) evaluate and perform strategic planning on program activities relating to the Initiative. (b) Membership.--The Committee shall consist of the following members appointed by the points of contact: (1) An individual affiliated with the biobased industrial products industry. (2) An individual affiliated with an institution of higher education who has expertise in biobased industrial products. (3) two prominent engineers or scientists from government or academia who have expertise in biobased industrial products. (4) An individual affiliated with a commodity trade association. (5) An individual affiliated with an environmental or conservation organization. (6) An individual associated with State government who has expertise in biobased industrial products. (7) At the option of the points of contact, other members. (c) Duties.--The Advisory Committee shall-- (1) advise the points of contact with respect to the Initiative; and (2) evaluate whether, and make recommendations in writing to the Board to ensure that-- (A) funds authorized for the Initiative are distributed and used in a manner that is consistent
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