(Washington, DC) – Representative Jim Baird (R-IN) and House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) introduced a bill today to provide for advanced biological and environmental research and development capabilities and infrastructure at the Department of Energy (DOE).

The Department of Energy Biological Innovation Opportunities (BIO) Act continues work first introduced in the Securing American Leadership in Science and Technology Act (SALSTA). It reauthorizes bioenergy research centers at the Department of Energy (DOE) to better understand complex biological systems and the underlying biology of plants in order to improve clean domestic energy production, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and expand the availability of biobased products. The bill also establishes a program to create user facilities that will increase opportunities for U.S. researchers to study complex biological, earth, and environmental systems.

“The BIO Act is a small step in creating a larger and long-term strategy for investment in critical research and infrastructure for the United States,” Baird said. “It’s imperative our country remain a global leader when it comes to innovation and new technology and prevent the Chinese Communist Party from surpassing our capabilities.”

“Strengthening and expanding our biological and environmental research program will help produce cleaner energy, reduce waste, and – importantly – create jobs in rural areas,” Lucas said. “It’s a great example of how fundamental research can produce wide-ranging benefits. I appreciate Rep. Baird’s work to improve our bioenergy and environmental research and I’m proud to cosponsor this bill with him.”