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] ...


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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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