WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Funding existing research and development programs and extending tax credits for clean energy production can speed completion of renewable energy projects that create jobs and generate economic activity.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization today joined 33 other renewable energy, environmental and agricultural groups in asking Congressional leaders to include in economic recovery legislation funding for important Farm Bill programs and extension of renewable energy production tax credits.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO's Industrial & Environmental Section, said, "Renewable biofuels could be a real driver of economic growth and new job creation as biorefinery projects and supporting infrastructure are built throughout the United States. For instance, a cellulosic biorefinery that produces both advanced biofuels and biobased products could create as many as 2,200 new jobs and increase economic activity by more than $1 billion.

"Many next-generation projects currently lack access to capital and credit. Federal commitment to the new energy economy that the incoming Obama administration highlighted during the campaign would help secure new investment in viable advanced biofuel projects. Congress right now has an opportunity to ensure that the United States' economic recovery is both financially and environmentally sustainable."

BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world's largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.

SOURCE: Biotechnology Industry Organization via Business Wire.