The US Departments of Energy and Agriculture have pledged 10 grants totaling $12.2 million into researching biofuel crops which the Obama administration hopes will reduce American dependency on oil imports.
The Departments have said the investments are part of a broader effort to develop domestic renewable energy and advance biofuels. Researchers want to improve crop yields using advanced modern genomics and, more importantly, to develop their growth on marginal lands unsuitable for crops to avoid competition with food sources.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said: “Biofuels, along with other advanced vehicle technologies, hold the potential to help reduce our oil imports while adding new jobs and driving wealth creation in rural America,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “This investment in research will be instrumental in developing the best possible crops to produce biofuels.”
Researchers hope the developments will reduce America’s reliance on importing oil.