The Cellulosic Ethanol Summit is underway in Washington, DC. It’s an interesting mix of people who want to learn more about how we’re going to build this new segment of the fuel ethanol industry.
On hand at lunch time was our Acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner. He addressed the group on the subject of what agriculture’s role is in building a national cellulosic industry. I caught up to him outside as he was leaving and asked him what his department is doing in this regard.
He says that USDA has several ongoing research projects involving enzymes and the plants that will be needed to use in the production of cellulosic ethanol. However, he says more needs to be done. That’s why the Administration has asked for $1 1/2 billion more in the proposed farm bill for new research in this area. He says the House has supported it and they’re hoping the Senate will too.
You can listen to my interview with Acting Secretary Conner here: [audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/ethanol/cellulosic-summit-07-conner.mp3]