Biofuels Could Benefit Chesapeake Bay

Cindy Zimmerman

Homegrown biofuels production could power a robust local economy and improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay by significantly reducing pollution runoff to the Bay’s local waterways.

That’s the primary finding in a report released today by the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

“This report clearly highlights the real and quantifiable benefits a next-generation biofuels industry presents to the Bay region, and outlines very near-term policy decisions each state could – and should – take to enhance an already growing economic opportunity for the region and get it right so that the industry can grow in a way that is environmentally sustainable,” said Maryland Delegate and project advisory panel chairman Jim Hubbard.

The report found that producing next-generation ethanol and other biofuels from growing plants in the Chesapeake Bay watershed such as switchgrass, barley and rye, and fast-growing trees like willow and poplar could create 18,000 jobs and 500 million gallons of fuel.