FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | January 11, 2012

American Chemical Society hosts Capitol Hill briefing on Cellulosic Biofuels on Jan. 30

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2012 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) Science & the Congress Project invites news media to attend a luncheon briefing on “Cellulosic Biofuels’ Economic and Technological Challenges: Speed Bumps or Detours?” It will be held Monday, Jan. 30, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Russell Office Building, SR-253. Please RSVP to

This briefing is hosted by the ACS Science & the Congress Project, with honorary co-hosts Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK).

Ethanol produced from biomass has been hailed as an energy source that could offset the United States’ reliance on foreign oil. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) issued a renewable fuel standard that mandated bioethanol production increase incrementally from 2010 to 2022 to include grains (such as corn and sugarcane), cellulosics (such as corn stover, starchy grasses and forest litter including wood) and algae. While grain bioethanol is on target to meet or exceed its quota, a substantial lack in supplies of cellulosics has forced Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials to reduce cellulosic targets for 2011 and 2012 to less than 3 percent of the previous requirements.

Analysts suggest that meeting cellulosic quotas will require either a significant increase in the price of oil and/or extensive subsidies to make such biofuels competitive with conventional petroleum-based fuels. Other industry watchers argue that meeting the goals is a matter of opening more manufacturing sites and building an infrastructure and consumer base that will drive demand and production volumes. This panel will discuss the economics and technological challenges confronting biofuel production essential to moving forward with the 2007 renewable fuel standards. The briefing will feature the following panelists and an open discussion:

Moderator: William Provine, Ph.D., Science Director, Biochemical Science & Engineering, BioFuels at DuPont Central Research & Development


  • Virginia Dale, Ph.D., Corporate Fellow, Oakridge National Laboratory
  • Douglas Karlen, Ph.D., Supervisory Soil Scientist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa
  • Aristides Patrinos, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Synthetic Genomics
  • Wallace Tyner, Ph.D., James & Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

The Science & the Congress Project was established in 1995 to provide a neutral and credible source of scientific information targeted to policymakers on Capitol Hill. Expert speakers are chosen to provide a balanced presentation about the topic under discussion, and their comments are independent of any position that may be held by the ACS, the sponsors of Science & the Congress, or its co-hosts. For more information, visit

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