Amends the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 to reauthorize and revise provisions concerning federal procurement of biobased products, grants for biorefineries, the biodiesel fuel education program, energy efficiency and renewable energy assistance for farmers and rural small businesses, and biomass research and development. Requires federal procuring agencies to: (1) establish a procurement program, develop procurement specifications, and procure biobased products identified under the Secretary of Agriculture's (Secretary's) guidelines; and (2) give a procurement preference to items described in such guidelines that are composed of the highest percentage of biobased products practicable or comply with the Resources Conservation Recovery Act. Sets forth exceptions to such requirement.
Requires the Secretary to prepare and periodically revise guidelines for complying with such requirements. Requires the guidelines to: (1) designate those items that are or can be produced with biobased products that will be subject to procurement preference; (2) designate intermediate ingredients and feedstocks that are or can be used to produce such items; (3) automatically designate items composed of in excess of 50% of such ingredients and feedstocks; (4) set forth recommended practices with respect to the procurement of biobased products and items containing such materials; (5) provide information as to the availability, relative price, performance, and environmental and public health benefits of such materials and items; and (6) apply to the purchase or acquisition of any item s p the price of which exceeds $10,000 or the quantity of which purchased or acquired during the preceding fiscal year was at least $10,000.
Prohibits such guidelines from requiring manufacturers or vendors of biobased products to provide to procuring agencies more data than would be required to be provided by manufacturers or vendors of other products, other than data confirming the biobased content of a product.
Requires the Office of Federal Procurement Policy to: (1) annually collect the information required to be reported under the biobased market program and make it publicly available; and (2) take a leading role in informing federal agencies about procurement requirements for biobased products.
Declares that procurement by federal agencies that is subject to regulations of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Solid Waste Disposal Act is not subject to the requirements of this Act if such requirements are inconsistent with those regulations.
Requires the Secretary to consult with representatives from businesses, academia and other federal agencies and persons, as well as the Administrator, in issuing criteria for products that qualify to receive the USDA Certified Biobased Product label.
Requires the Secretary to: (1) establish a program to recognize federal agencies and private entities that use a substantial amount of biobased products; and (2) encourage federal agencies to establish incentive programs to recognize federal employees or contractors that make exceptional contributions to the expanded use of such products.
Declares that the Biobased Markets Program does not apply to the procurement of heating oil as well as motor vehicle fuels or electricity. Requires the Architect of the Capitol, the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate, and the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives to consider the biobased product designations made under such program in making procurement decisions for the Capitol Complex.
Requires the Secretary to establish a national registry of testing centers for biobased products that will serve product manufactures.
Requires the Secretary to use specified amounts of the Commodity Credit Corporation's funds to provide mandatory funding for biobased products testing and labeling. Authorizes appropriations for FY2008-FY2012.
Requires the Secretary to make available to eligible entities: (1) grants to assist in paying the costs of the development and construction of demonstration-scale biorefineries to demonstrate the commercial viability of processes for converting renewable biomass to advanced biofuels; and (2) guarantees for loans made to fund the development, construction, and retrofitting of commercial-scale biorefineries using eligible technology. Defines "eligible entity" as an individual, entity, Indian tribe, or a state or local government, including a corporation, a farm cooperative, a farmer cooperative organization, an association of agricultural producers, the National Laboratory, an institution of higher education, a rural electric cooperative, a public power entity, or a consortium of those entities.
Requires the Secretary to establish a priority scoring system for reviewing grant applications that considers: (1) the potential market for the advanced biofuel and byproducts; (2) the level of financial participation by the applicant, including support from nonfederal and private sources; (3) whether the applicant is proposing to use a feedstock not previously used in the production of advanced biofuels; (4) whether the applicant is proposing to work with producer associations or cooperatives; (5) whether the applicant has established that adoption of the process proposed will have a positive impact on resource conservation, public health, and the environment; (6) the potential for rural economic development; (7) whether the area in which the applicant proposes to locate the biorefinery has other similar facilities; (8) whether the project can be replicated; and (9) scalability for commercial use.
Authorizes the grantee share of project costs to be made in the form of cash or material (currently, costs can be made in the form of cash, or the provision of services, material, or other in-kind contributions). Limits the amount of the grantee share that is made in the form of material to 15% (currently, 25%) of the amount of the grantee share.
Requires the Secretary to establish a priority scoring system to select loan guarantees for biorefinery assistance that considers: (1) whether the applicant has established a market for the advanced biofuel and byproducts; (2) whether the area in which the applicant proposes to place the biorefinery has other similar facilities; (3) whether the applicant is proposing to use a feedstock not previously used in the production of advanced biofuels; (4) whether the applicant is proposing to work with producer associations or cooperatives; (5) the level of financial participation by the applicant, including support from nonfederal and private sources; (6) whether the applicant has established that the adoption of the process proposed in the application will have a positive impact on resource conservation, public health, and the environment; (7) whether the applicant can establish that if adopted, the biofuels production technology proposed in the application will not have any significant negative impacts on existing manufacturing plants or other facilities that use similar feedstocks; (8) the potential for rural economic development; (9) the level of local ownership proposed in the application; and (10) whether the project can be replicated.
Sets forth the maximum amount and percentage of loan guarantees.
Requires specified amounts of Commodity Credit Corporation funds the Secretary uses for the cost of loan guarantees to remain available for FY2009-FY2010. Authorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2012.
Requires the Secretary to encourage biorefineries in existence on the date of this Act's enactment to replace fossil fuels used to produce heat or power to operate the biorefineries by making payments for: (1) the installation of new systems that use renewable biomass; or (2) the new production of energy from renewable biomass. Sets forth factors the Secretary shall consider in determining the amount of such payments.
Establishes the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels. Requires the Secretary to make payments (based on specified factors) to eligible producers of advanced biofuels to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels. Requires the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, to establish a Rural Energy for America Program to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy development for agricultural producers and rural small businesses through: (1) grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance; and (2) financial assistance for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems. Requires the Secretary to make competitive grants to eligible entities to provide assistance to such producers and businesses to become more energy efficient and use renewable energy technologies and resources. Defines "eligible entity" as a state, tribal, or local government, an institution of higher education, a rural electric cooperative or public power entity, and other similar entities. Sets forth grant selection criteria. Authorizes the Secretary to provide grants to an agricultural producer or a rural small business to conduct a feasibility study for an eligible project. Limits the amounts and use of such grants. Requires the Secretary to report to Congress on the implementation of the Program.
Repeals the Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Program and provisions concerning grants to farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses for purchasing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements.
Requires the Secretary and the Secretary of Energy to coordinate policies and procedures that promote research and development regarding the production of biofuels and biobased products. Establishes the Biomass Research and Development Board to: (1) coordinate research and development activities relating to biofuels and biobased products between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy and with other federal departments; (2) provide recommendations to the agencies' points of contacts concerning administration of biomass research and development; (3) ensure that solicitations are open and competitive with awards made annually and that objectives and evaluation criteria of the solicitations are clearly stated and minimally prescriptive with no areas of special interest; and (4) ensure that the panel of scientific and technical peers assembled to review proposals is composed predominantly of independent experts selected from outside such departments.
Establishes the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee to: (1) advise the agencies' points of contacts with respect to the Biomass Research and Development Initiative established by this Act; and (2) evaluate and make certain recommendations to the Board regarding the Initiative.
Requires the Secretary and the Secretary of Energy, acting through their respective points of contact and in consultation with the Board, to establish a Biomass Research and Development Initiative under which competitively awarded grants, contracts, and financial assistance are provided to, or entered into with, eligible entities to carry out research on and development and demonstration of: (1) biofuels and biobased products; and (2) the methods, practices, and technologies for the production of biofuels and biobased products. Sets forth the Initiative's objectives. Requires the Secretary and the Secretary of Energy to direct the Initiative in: (1) feedstocks development; (2) biofuels and biobased product development; and (3) biofuels development analysis. Defines "eligible entities" for such grants, contracts, or assistance as an institution of higher education, a National Laboratory, a federal or state research agency, a private entity, a nonprofit organization, or a consortium of such entities. Authorizes the Secretary and the Secretary of Energy to provide administrative support and funds to the Board and the Committee. Requires the Secretary and the Secretary of Energy to report to Congress on such Initiative. Requires the Secretary to: (1) establish a Rural Energy Self-Sufficiency Initiative to provide financial assistance to enable eligible rural communities to substantially increase their energy self-sufficiency; and (2) give preference to grant applicants that propose to act in coordination with specified entities. Requires grant recipients to report to the Secretary on the community's project.
Sets forth mandatory funding provisions and authorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2012 for loan guarantees, the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program, the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, the Rural Energy for America Program, the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, and the Rural Energy Self-sufficiency Initiative.
Establishes the Feedstock Flexibility Program for Bioenergy Producers. Requires the Secretary to purchase eligible commodities from eligible entities and sell them to bioenergy producers. Declares that the purchase and sale of such commodities shall only be made in the crop years in which the purchases and sales are necessary to ensure that the sugar commodity program is operated at no cost to the federal government by avoiding forfeitures to the Corporation. Provides for the disposition, transfer, and storage of commodities.
Requires the Secretary to establish and administer a Biomass Crop Assistance Program to: (1) support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected project areas; and (2) assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with the collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility. Requires the Secretary to provide financial assistance to producers of eligible crops in a project area. Sets forth project area selection criteria and the amount of payments to producers. Requires the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees on the dissemination of best practice information gathered from program participants.
Requires the Secretary, acting through the Forest Service, to conduct a competitive research and development program to encourage the use of forest biomass for energy. Sets forth priorities for project selection. Authorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2012.
Requires the Secretary, acting through the Chief of the Forest Service, to establish the Community Wood Energy Program to provide: (1) grants to state and local governments to develop community wood energy plans; and (2) competitive grants to state and local governments to acquire or upgrade community wood energy systems. Requires grant recipients to provide funds that match the federal government's contribution. Authorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2012.
Repeals the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000.