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House Committee Holds Hearing on Bioenergy RD&D for the Fuels and Chemicals of Tomorrow

On March 16, 2022, the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing on “Bioenergy Research and Development for the Fuels and Chemicals of Tomorrow.” According to the hearing charter, the purpose of the hearing was to examine the status of bioenergy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities carried out by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The hearing also considered advancements in bioenergy research and the potential role of this resource in a cleaner energy transition. Lastly, the hearing was intended to help inform future legislation to support and guide the United States’ bioenergy RD&D enterprise. Witnesses included:

  • Dr. Jonathan Male, Chief Scientist for Energy Processes and Materials, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL);

  • Dr. Andrew Leakey, Director of the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign;

  • Dr. Laurel Harmon, Vice President of Government Affairs, LanzaTech; and

  • Dr. Eric Hegg, Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University.


[ Dr. Andrew ] Leakey testified about the need for next-generation bioenergy and bioproducts as part of a decarbonized economy. According to Leakey, there is “enormous potential to produce abundant supplies of renewable bioenergy and bioproducts from plant biomass,” which would:

  • Develop a more just economy in which additional individuals and communities would receive economic benefit from the production of fuels and chemicals, including in rural areas;

  • Reduce reliance on foreign sources of energy and improve resilience in the face of international conflicts or natural disasters;

  • Support farming communities in developing a more diverse, sustainable, and resilient agricultural system; and

  • Counteract the progression of climate change.


Watch Dr. Andrew Leakey's testimony

Read the full article

Publication Date: 03/22/2022
Editor: Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.