American Society of Plant Biologists President Michael Thomashow, Ph.D., noted that the science community appreciates The President's leadership in launching the ACI, which will double investment in research over 10 years sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy Office of Science and the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Leaders of each of these Agencies testified February 15 before the House Science Committee chaired by Congressman Sherwood Boehlert.
Dr. Thomashow said the ACI provides increased investment in research needed for continued growth of the nation's economy. "The nation's ability to generate job-creating industries, remain competitive in the global market, and improve the quality life of consumers will be enhanced by enactment of this research initiative," Dr. Thomashow said.
Dr. Thomashow commended The President for his Advanced Energy Initiative that will help transition the nation away from its increasing dependence on foreign oil. The opportunities in plant and microbial research to more efficiently produce and convert biomass to ethanol are much greater today with our increasing knowledge of plant genomes, plant physiology and of modern plant transformation technologies.
"Brazil moved to energy independence with help from research on the sugar cane genome and related plant research. Future studies on plant cell wall (biomass), plant genomes, plant physiology and cellulose conversion are among the areas that will help transition a major segment of the nation's transportation fuels sector away from imported gasoline, to domestically grown, cleaner burning biofuels," Dr. Thomashow said.