WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Biotechnology Industry Organization today released a video statement anticipating that President Bush will call for initiatives to stimulate large-scale production of biofuels in the State of the Union address.

BIO Executive Vice President Brent Erickson said, "If the Bush Administration and the Congress give us the right tools and incentives, we can dramatically increase the amount of biofuels we make in this country. We could be producing 60 billion gallons of ethanol by 2030, if we have the right policies."

A 2005 study from the U.S. Department of Energy and the USDA estimated that the United States could produce more than a billion tons of feedstock for biofuels, meeting 30 percent of our transportation fuel needs by 2030.

"We can achieve this goal by using agricultural biotechnology to improve crop yields and by deploying a new type of biotechnology - industrial biotechnology - to make ethanol from crop residues like corn stover and wheat straw," Erickson continued.

"Last year, President Bush announced he wanted ethanol from cellulose to become cost-competitive with gasoline within six years. This year, he is calling for dramatically increased production of biofuels like ethanol," Erickson noted.

Advances in biotechnology now make production of ethanol from cellulose cost-competitive with gasoline. One recent study shows that biotech processes already being used today could produce ethanol from cellulose for between $1.00 and $1.60 a gallon.

"Support for this issue has been echoed and endorsed by Congressional Democrats. This is the one issue that Congress may be able to accomplish this year," Erickson concluded.

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

SOURCE: Biotechnology Industry Organization via Business Wire.