January 31, 2024

USDA Awarding $19 Million in Grants to U.S. Business Owners to Increase Access to Clean, Affordable Domestic Biofuels

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on January 11, 2024, that it is awarding $19 million in grants to U.S. business owners to increase the availability of domestic biofuels in 22 states and provide “cleaner, more affordable fuel options at gas station pumps as part of President Biden’s Bidenomics agenda to lower costs and invest in America.” USDA is making the awards through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), made possible with funding...
January 16, 2024

Law Library of Congress Publishes Report on Selected Issues in Biotechnology Regulation

The Law Library of Congress published a November 2023 report entitled Selected Issues in Biotechnology Regulation: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, England, European Union, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan that provides an overview of the main statutes and policies governing selected issues on the development of biotechnology products, particularly those derived from genetically modified organisms (GMO) and genetic engineering....
January 8, 2024

BETO Releases Summary Report Following Transition to Sustainable, Circular Economy for Plastics Workshop

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced on December 20, 2023, that it released a summary report following its June 8-9, 2023, Workshop: Transitioning to a Sustainable, Circular Economy for Plastics. The workshop, hosted by BETO in partnership with DOE’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office and the Climate Pledge coalition, brought together stakeholders from industry, academia, national laboratories, and non-profit organizations...
January 5, 2024

Treasury Department and IRS Issue Guidance on SAF Credit

On December 14, 2023, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2024-06 for the new Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) credit created by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). According to the IRS’s December 15, 2023, press release, the SAF credit applies to a qualified fuel mixture containing SAF for certain sales or uses in calendar years 2023 and 2024. The SAF credit is $1.25 for each gallon of SAF in...
January 3, 2024

APHIS Reopens Comment Period on Proposed Additional Exemptions for Plants Modified or Produced Through Genetic Engineering

As reported in our November 16, 2023, blog item, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) proposed on November 15, 2023, five new types of genetic modifications a plant can contain and be exempt from the regulations for the movement of organisms modified or produced through genetic engineering because such modifications could otherwise be achieved through conventional breeding methods. 88 Fed. Reg. 78285. Comments were due December 15,...
December 29, 2023

OSTP Publishes Report on Vision, Needs, and Proposed Actions for Data for the Bioeconomy Initiative

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) published on December 20, 2023, a report on Vision, Needs, and Proposed Actions for Data for the Bioeconomy Initiative. As reported in our September 13, 2022, blog item, on September 12, 2022, President Joseph Biden signed an Executive Order creating a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative that establishes a Data for the Bioeconomy Initiative (Data Initiative) to ensure that biotechnology developers have streamlined...
December 7, 2023

Bipartisan House Legislation Would Support Biofuels and Biomanufacturing Innovation

On November 14, 2023, Representatives Nikki Budzinski (D-IL) and Zach Nunn (R-IA) introduced bipartisan legislation that would increase biofuel production and reduce energy costs. The Agricultural Biorefinery Innovation and Opportunity (Ag BIO) Act (H.R. 6413) would increase funding for grants to support innovation in the biofuels and bioproducts industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance program offers...
December 4, 2023

APHIS Announces Determination of Nonregulated Status for Insect-Resistant and Herbicide-Tolerant Maize

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) “advis[ed] the public” on December 1, 2023, of its determination that DP23211 maize (corn) that has been developed using genetic engineering for insect resistance to western corn rootworm and contains the gene that codes for the phosphinothricin acetyltransferase protein responsible for tolerance to glufosinate-ammonium herbicides, as well as the gene that encodes for the phosphomannose isomerase...
December 1, 2023

NREL AI Tool Predicts How to Achieve Polymer Properties with Biomass

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced on November 27, 2023, that a machine learning tool developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), with support from BETO, makes it easier for material scientists to “mak[e] polymers more sustainable and higher performing — especially with the reliance on petrochemicals for making plastics.” According to BETO, using artificial intelligence (AI), PolyID: Polymer Inverse Design™ “can...