Half a Billion Goes to Biofuels Study at Berkeley

By Published On: February 2, 2007

BP is giving $500 million to UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley Lab for research and development of less polluting alternative transportation fuels. The February 1 announcement follows the governor’s executive order calling for a 10 percent cut in transportation fuels’ greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade (Circuit, Jan. 16, 2007). “We will be working to improve and expand the production of clean, renewable energy through the integrated development of better crops, better processing technologies, and new biofuels,” said Bob Malone, chair and president of BP America. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said during a February 1 press conference, “With research facilities like the Energy Biosciences Institute, California will continue to be a leader in the Cleantech industry.” The funds, which may be enhanced by $40 million in state funds, are to be used to create the world’s first Energy Biosciences Institute. The governor’s proposed 2007-08 budget includes funding for this new institute. The new alternative-fuels institute’s additional partner is the University of Illinois. Illinois is a corn state. According to Malone, 50 BP staff will work with the university scientists. – Elizabeth McCarthy

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