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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 25, 2007

Schumer Presses Energy Secretary Bodman To Choose Cutting-Edge, Green Energy Lyonsdale Biorefinery As Major Grant Recipient

Federal Funding would Support a Biorefinery Pilot Program in Lyonsdale for a State-of-the-Art Facility that will help Reduce America's Dependence on Foreign Oil and Create North Country Jobs

After Writing a Letter of Support to Bodman in August, Schumer Called Secretary and Gained Assurances that he will Personally Review the Company's Grant Application

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that he personally called Department of Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman in an effort to ratchet-up support for a North Country company, The Biorefinery in New York, which is currently seeking a Department of Energy (DOE) grant to fund a cutting-edge biorefinery program in Lyonsdale. Schumer, who recently toured the facility and pledged to go to bat for it, says the project can bring jobs and investment to the region, while reducing reliance on foreign oil. The company’s application for a DOE grant is in the preliminary stages of approval and has two stages to pass before it qualifies for funding.


Schumer, who sent a letter in August in support of the company’s application, today announced that in a follow-up phone call Friday evening, he received Secretary Bodman’s personal assurance that he would look into The Biorefinery in New York’s application. Schumer also stressed that he believed as long as the company moved past the first stage of the approval process, the company would be in prime position to secure the grant due to the strength of its proposal.  


“I personally called on Secretary Bodman to review the grant application for this extremely innovative biorefinery project that has the potential to usher in good-paying jobs and investment to the North Country,” said Schumer. “Their proposal will not only provide cutting-edge, green energy that will help reduce our dependency on foreign oil, but will also boost the local economy and make the North Country an epicenter for biochemical innovation. This is just the kind of innovative, new industry we need to re-build the upstate economy. I have faith that Secretary Bodman will see the value of this proposal. Once these guys get up to the plate in the DOE grant awards process, I believe they will knock it out of the park.”


The Biorefinery in New York applied for DOE funds in order to implement a pilot biorefinery program in Lyonsdale. The pilot program would integrate a thermochemical project with a biochemical project, taking a unified approach to deliver renewable liquid transportation fuels, chemicals and material products. The facility will work to diversify new products in order to replace petroleum-based fuels and chemicals. The first ever integrated facility of its kind, this pilot demonstration project would demonstrate the commercial viability of this technology, which could theoretically be replicated on a commercial scale.


Senator Schumer first voiced his support for the project earlier this month in a letter to Secretary Bodman, urging him to seriously consider these funds. “In the fight to reduce American’s dependency on foreign oil, it is crucial that we support projects like The Biorefinery in New York,” wrote Schumer.


The DOE funds are part of the Demonstration of Integrated Biorefinery Operations for Producing Biofuels and Chemical/Materials Products Grant Program. It is a competitive funding opportunity, and the DOE expects to make between five and ten awards. Applicants that move on from the initial selection process are asked to make an oral presentation, before the final award decisions are made.


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