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Mr. ROTHMAN of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong opposition to this amendment. First I would like to thank Chairman VISCLOSKY, Chairman PASTOR, Ranking Member FRELINGHUYSEN and all the Energy and Water Subcommittee members for their leadership on this important legislation and their support for this project. This is a good bill, and this is a good project. It will protect America's waterways and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I urge my colleagues to support the bill.
This amendment that the gentleman from Arizona offers would remove funding for a project that would speed the transition of biotechnology from the laboratory to the marketplace.
Since 1989, Mr. Chairman, the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research has steered more than $122 million towards energy research projects that are chosen on the basis of scientific merit and their importance for building a renewable energy economy, especially from biomass. The consortium works with more than 50 research universities in the United States of America and matches those universities with private entities, which transform their lab work into technology that can be introduced into the economy, creating jobs in the rapidly growing alternative energy sector. This is a picture of a wonderful public-private partnership that so many on both sides of the aisle talk about.
Through the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research, the Federal dollars made available by this earmark are matched 130 percent with non-Federal funds so that for every $1 the government puts in, the private sector puts in $1.30, for a total of $2.30 worth of research.
Recently, Mr. Chairman, Rutgers University in my home State of New Jersey partnered with the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research. Rutgers' work is focused on creating plants that require less fertilizer to grow, the result being less energy used in the manufacture of fertilizer, cheaper crops and easily produced biomass that can be converted into clean energy. The result is tremendously efficient research that is cheaper, that will give us better crops and the next generation of clean, renewable biofuels.
Mr. Chairman, if we're going to combat global warming and break America's dependence on foreign oil, investing in research into the next generation of locally generated, renewable biofuels is crucial. The Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research facilitates exactly that, and I am proud to support this earmark.
I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the amendment.
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