A bill that would create an Oklahoma Bioenergy Center to position Oklahoma as a leader in biofuels research and production has been signed into law by the Governor.
Senate Bill 609 will combine the expertise of Oklahoma’s colleges and universities with the facilities of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation to research the development of biofuels.
Sen. Joe Sweeden, author of Senate Bill 609, said the Act will ensure that Oklahoma remains at the forefront of the energy industry for years to come.
“The need for new energy sources and energy independence is greater now than ever before,” said Sweeden, D-Pawhuska. “Oklahoma’s unique combination of natural resources and a prominent energy industry make us a perfect fit to lead the way in developing new energy sources. A growing bioenergy industry can revitalize our rural communities and will contribute greatly to the overall health of the state’s economy.”
Sweeden noted that Oklahoma’s agricultural industry produces many of the components required for production of emerging energy sources. Switchgrass, corn, and various native grasses can be used in the development of biofuels.
“The foundation for the industry already exists in Oklahoma, and the Bioenergy Center will help combine technologies for the development of biofuels,” Sweeden said. “A healthy biofuels industry can diversify the state’s economy, bring high-paying jobs and provide our state’s agricultural producers with a new market.”
Research at the Oklahoma Bioenergy Center will focus on the development of feedstocks, collection and transportation, conversion technologies and distribution. The Center will bring together top researchers from throughout Oklahoma and the nation.