Texas Rolls Out Bioenergy Strategy, Grants $5 Million for Research

July 10, 2007

Texas Governor Rick Perry joined bioenergy leaders to unveil the Texas Bioenergy Strategy on July 9. The governor also awarded a $5 million grant to Texas A&M University for research in creating biofuels from agricultural feedstocks.

The strategy addresses a broad realm of bioproducts and focuses on the development of fuels that are not derived from corn. Corn prices have risen dramatically because of higher ethanol production, and those high prices have cut into biofuel industry profits. Other agricultural industries have been hit hard too. For example cattle farmers, who have traditionally fed corn to their livestock, are also feeling the squeeze.

At the event in Houston, Perry awarded a $5 million Texas Emerging Technology grant to Texas A&M University to support research for new biofuels. The funds will go to the Texas A&M Agriculture and Engineering Bioenergy Alliance, a collaboration between the Agricultural and Engineering Departments at the university. The alliance will use the grant to further develop fuels derived from such feedstocks as sorghum, sugarcane, manure, forest products, aquatic plants, cotton seeds, and soybeans.

Perry said, "As a state that grows by 1,000 new residents each day, Texas must take a more innovative approach to developing new methods and research in the field of energy…. In a place like Texas that not only houses unique terrains and ecosystems unlike any other the world, but also has access to ports, international borders, and other venues for trade, we have a distinct opportunity to further develop and leverage more of our state's resources to develop a variety of bioproducts," said Perry.

The governor also recognized the newly formed Texas Bioproducts Industry Council, which will work closely with the private and public sectors to create strategies for promoting bioproducts in Texas.

For more information, see the governor's July 9 press release .

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Texas, see: