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N.C. Takes Biofuels Leadership, Establishes New Endeavor With $5 Million State Appropriation
Date:9/4/2007

OXFORD, N.C., Sept. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Catalyzing an entire new industry for North Carolina is the long-term task of the newly established Biofuels Center of North Carolina, which moved to reality today following its first board of directors meeting.

Funded with a $5 million initial appropriation from the 2007 General Assembly, the non-profit corporation will in coming years implement North Carolina's Strategic Plan for Biofuels Leadership. The Plan was mandated by the General Assembly in 2006 and presented to its Environmental Review Commission in April of this year.

The Plan offers a challenging goal: by 2017, 10 percent of liquid fuels sold in North Carolina will come from biofuels grown and produced within the state.

At current usage rates, production of almost 600 million gallons will be required.

"Meeting this bold goal will require enormous commitment, new resources, and untold acres of energy crops across the state," said W. Steven Burke, chair of the Biofuels Center's board of directors. "Meeting the goal will also yield a sector of impact statewide, particularly for rural and agricultural communities. How often does a state have opportunity to create a large new industry with widespread benefit?"

The Strategic Plan was shaped by a 24-member steering committee and more than 80 public and private participants from across North Carolina. Six months of discussion and ideas yielded 9 strategies to ensure that the state gains biofuels capabilities and benefit over the next 10-15 years. Key among the strategies was establishment of a neutral catalyzing and assisting agency to work with researchers, growers, production facilities, educators, and policy- makers.

Establishment of the Biofuels Center of North Carolina moves that key strategy to quick reality. The non-profit corporation will be headquartered at the newly established North Carolina Biofuels Campus in Oxford. The site is the former U.S. Department of
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SOURCE Biofuels Center of North Carolina
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