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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release August 12, 1999
                        GROWING CLEAN ENERGY FOR THE
                               21st CENTURY
                              August 12, 1999

Today, President Clinton will announce new steps to spur bio-based technologies that can help grow the economy, enhance U.S. energy security, and meet environmental challenges like global warming. The President will issue an Executive Order coordinating Federal efforts to accelerate these 21st century technologies - which can convert crops, trees, and other "biomass" into a vast array of fuels and materials - and set a goal of tripling U.S. use of bioenergy and bioproducts by 2010. Meeting this goal could create $15 billion to $20 billion in new income for farmers and rural America, and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by over 100 million tons - the equivalent of taking more than 70 million cars off the road. In addition, the President will call on Congress to approve his proposed research funding and tax credits to promote energy efficiency, bioenergy, and other clean energy sources.

New Economic Opportunities for a New Century. Advances in farm, forestry, and other biological sciences are fueling a revolution in the use of biomass (trees, crops, and agricultural and forestry wastes) to make low polluting products, such as:

By creating high-tech jobs and new economic opportunities, meeting the President's goal of tripling U.S. use of bioenergy and bioproducts could add $15 billion to $20 billion in new income for farmers and many rural communities.

Cleaner Energy, Cleaner Environment. Bioenergy and bioproducts can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. Since crops absorb carbon during growth, their use for energy and other applications results in near zero net carbon release.

Energy Security. Meeting the President's goal of tripling our use of bioproducts and bioenergy will allow us to cut back on the almost 4 billion barrels of oil we are projected to import in 2010.

Federal Leadership. Leading scientific and industry groups are calling for a stronger Federal role to help move these promising technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace. Today's Executive Order creates a powerful new research management team focused on an ambitious set of goals. It:

In a separate Executive Memorandum, the President instructed the Secretaries of Energy and Agriculture to prepare a report within the next 120 days on options for modifying existing DOE and USDA programs with a goal of tripling U.S. use of bio-based products and bioenergy by 2010.