Friday, March 30, 2007

Proposed Renewable Energy Center for Iowa State University

From Wallaces Farmer:

State legislators at the Capitol in Des Moines last week approved measures
that if passed, will strengthen Iowa's efforts to become the renewable energy
center of the United States. Bills were passed out of committees to create a
renewable fuels center at Iowa State University and to increase state funding
for agriculture research to develop the bioeconomy, and for livestock and the
environment. The energy research center is projected to cost $28 million. Its
focus is to be on developing technologies and methods to produce renewable fuels
from agriculture, including biomass, and to increase efficient use of byproducts
in Iowa's livestock industry. The initiative fits within Gov. Chet Culver's
proposed $100 million Iowa Power Fund. The proposal is endorsed by a number of
ag organizations in the state that have formed a coalition called Friends of
Iowa Agriculture. The group includes Iowa Farm Bureau and state commodity
associations. The group is also calling for increased funding for ISU's
Experiment Station. According to a plan called "10 x 5," research funding would
receive a $10 million boost each year for five years from the state of Iowa.

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