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Touts New Hampshire clean energy company as way to reduce dependence on foreign oil and combat rising oil and gas prices

ENR hearing 04.07

(Washington, D.C.) – Biofuels and other clean energy solutions are critical for our country’s long-term economic competitiveness, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said introducing a New Hampshire company that had led in the production of cellulosic ethanol. She spoke during the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Companies like Mascoma—an innovative clean energy company based in Lebanon New Hampshire—will help reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil and address skyrocketing heating oil and gas prices, Shaheen said.

Mascoma develops environmentally sustainable, low cost, low carbon biofuels from wood. The cellulosic ethanol created is an alternative to more traditional ethanol, typically made from food products such as sugar or corn.

“New Hampshire companies such as Mascoma are leading our state and our country into this clean energy economy. Mascoma’s technology will create jobs and potentially revolutionize the way we produce sustainable, low-carbon sources of domestically produced ethanol,” Shaheen said. “Cellulosic ethanol doesn’t compete with our food supplies and will lead to a more secure fuel supply that will help break our dependence on foreign oil.”

During the hearing, Mascoma CEO Bill Brady discussed the need for commercialization of advanced and cellulosic ethanol as a way to secure our energy security and economic well-being. 

“The time is now for the United States to make significant strides in the commercialization of advanced and cellulosic ethanol,” said Brady, chairman of the Advanced Ethanol Council, in his prepared remarks. “The U.S. is spending $560 billion annually to import foreign sources of oil which make up 60 percent of our total oil requirements. It would be far better to invest funds to build out the advanced and cellulosic ethanol infrastructure that our country so badly needs for our energy security and economic well-being.”

Biofuel producers, such as Mascoma, will not only lessen the country’s dependence on foreign oil, but will create new economic opportunities as well. Currently, Mascoma is working to build a refinery in Michigan that would produce up to 40 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol each year.  It would directly support 70 jobs and another 700 indirect job. Shaheen supported the company’s Department of Energy loan guarantee application.