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Memorandum on Biobased Products and Bioenergy

August 12, 1999

Memorandum for the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Subject: Biobased Products and Bioenergy

Today I issued an Executive Order, "Developing and Promoting Biobased Products and Bioenergy," to further the development of a comprehensive national strategy that includes research, development, and private sector incentives to stimulate the creation and early adoption of technologies needed to make biobased products and bioenergy cost-competitive in national and international markets.

Consistent with the objectives and activities in that order and to ensure that the Nation moves efficiently to exploit the benefits of expanded use of biobased products and bioenergy, I hereby direct as follows:

(1) The Secretaries of Agriculture and Energy, in consultation with other appropriate agencies, shall, within 120 days of this memorandum, prepare a report outlining and assessing options for modifying existing respective agency programs in fiscal year 2001 to promote biobased products and bioenergy with a goal of tripling U.S. use of biobased products and bioenergy by 2010. Programs include, among others, conservation and utility programs within the Department of Agriculture (including the Conservation Reserve Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program); technology assistance and other small business programs; and education and extension programs. The report also shall include an assessment of: (a) the evidence to determine whether modifications to the tax code are a cost-effective policy option for review by the Department of the Treasury; and (b) the potential to expand use of biobased products and bioenergy by Federal agencies including cofiring with biomass at Federal facilities, use of biofuels in Federal vehicles, and Federal procurement of biobased products and bioenergy. Such expanded use shall be consistent with agency opportunities and the President's budget.

(2) In preparing this report, the agencies shall: (a) work closely with the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that actions recommended reflect a careful review of the environmental benefits, concerns, and net environmental consequences created by expanded use of biobased products and bioenergy. The factors considered should include:

(i) impact on net emissions of greenhouse gases including carbon sequestered by biomass crops, and substituting low netcarbon, biobased products, and bioenergy for products manufactured from fossil fuels; and

(ii) emissions of criteria pollutants and air toxics and other environmental consequences of production of biobased products and bioenergy; and

(iii) changes in water quality, soil erosion, pesticide and fertilizer use, and wildlife habitat as a consequence of changes in land use associated with biomass production; and,

(b) consider the findings and recommendations of the recently released National Academy of Sciences report "Biobased Industrial Products;" the recommendations contained in "Technology Vision 2020: The U.S. Chemical Industry" by the American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Chemical Manufacturers Association, Council for Chemical Research, and the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association; the recommendations by the U.S. agricultural, forestry, and chemical communities from the "Plant/Crop-based Renewable Resources 2020: A Vision to Enhance U.S. Economic Security Through Renewable Plant/Crop-Based Resource Use;" and, "Agenda 2020" by the U.S. Forest Products Industry; and (c) consider input from other sources, including publicprivate strategic plans developed by the Departments of Agriculture and Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation, Department of the Interior, and other agencies bioenergy (power, fuels, and heat), commercial and industrial chemicals, and other products and materials.

(3) The Secretaries of Agriculture and Energy shall, within 120 days of this memorandum, report on outreach efforts to raise the Nation's awareness of the useful applications, benefits, and costs of producing biobased products and bioenergy and adopting biobased technologies including workshops on new biomass crops and technologies for producing and marketing biobased products and bioenergy.


NOTE: An original was not available for verification of the content of this memorandum. The Executive order of August 12 is listed in Appendix D at the end of this volume.

William J. Clinton, Memorandum on Biobased Products and Bioenergy Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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