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2005 Policy Positions
of the Southern Legislative Conference



There continues to be widespread interest in the development of biobased products and bioenergy within the Southern region.  The Southern States Biobased Alliance, formed in July, 2001, under the auspices of the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB), has as its mission to foster a biobased industry and boost rural economies in the Southern states. Since its establishment by Congress in 1983, the Regional Biomass Energy Program (RBEP) has effectively coordinated and facilitated state and regional biomass activities.

Regional and state efforts are essential to facilitate the growth of biomass programs throughout the nation.  In 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) integrated all biomass programs under the Office of Biomass Programs (OBP).  One of five regional entities receiving DOE funds across the country, the SSEB is working to develop the biomass industry.


The Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments (SLC) affirms that the Regional Biomass Energy Program has been successful and merits continued federal funding for its state activities.  Congress has reflected that success by continuing earmarked appropriations for the RBEP.  The SLC endorses and urges continuing Congressional and DOE support for the efforts with the states, which demands an explicit earmarking for the RBEP.  In addition, there is now proposed a Southern Regional Center, the Southeastern Center at Mississippi State University, to support regional biomass research and development efforts and identify the best commercial opportunities in the South for the use of biofuels and biomass to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources.

The SLC shall forward copies of this policy position to the president of the United States, the appropriate leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, including the chairs of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. 


Adopted by the Southern Legislative Conference, August 2, 2005, Mobile, Alabama.

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