WASHINGTON-Biobased Products Coalition (BPC) members honored today Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) for their policy leadership to spur greater manufacturing and use of biobased products in the United States. BPC joined Senator Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, at her 'Grow It Here, Make It Here' Spotlight on Innovation in the Russell Senate Office Building.
Growth of the biobased products sector creates U.S. jobs, including in rural America. U.S manufacturers today make hundreds of products with renewable agricultural feedstocks, replacing petroleum and harsh chemicals in products that Americans use every day. BPC members displayed many examples at the Senate Showcase. (*HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTO AVAILABLE)
Senator Stabenow champions multiple biobased policies, including creation of a new tax credit for companies that invest in new facilities or purchase equipment to manufacture biobased products. Stabenow is also a leader in enhancing the BioPreferred® Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which certifies and labels products so consumers can choose to purchase goods made of agricultural and biobased materials. The program calls on government agencies to give these products a preference when making government purchases.
Senator Harkin is a pioneer in biobased policy. In 2002, Harkin and Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) co-authored the Farm Bill’s first Energy Title, including provisions that called on the federal government to lead the nation in buying biobased products. Harkin recognized that the nation’s agricultural strengths offered the potential for reducing dependence on foreign oil. He said, “When I look across Iowa’s corn and soybean fields, I see oil fields.”
Biobased product manufacturers and allied organizations launched the Biobased Products Coalition in 2007 to focus and coordinate industry efforts to improve the federal biobased program and promote other favorable federal policies. The BPC provides a forum for biobased manufacturers of all sizes as well as farmer and other trade associations to present a unified industry voice on federal policy.