Pace-Led Team on Tight Deadline Includes Researchers from Cornell, SUNY, and Leading Energy and Environmental Consulting Firms
WHITE PLAINS, NY (February 24, 2009) – The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced that a team led by the Energy and Climate Center at Pace Law School will perform a $750,000 study to develop a state “roadmap” to increased use of biofuels.
Intended to help guide state policy on renewable fuels, the roadmap was one of several recommendations from Governor David A Paterson’s Renewable Energy Task Force report issued in February, 2008. The project will include a study of sources of sustainable biomass feedstocks, the raw materials for biofuels.
It also will look at impacts that increased use of renewable fuels might have on economic development, energy supplies and diversity, the environment, and public health.
The roadmap is to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2009.
Agriculture and woody biomass. To conduct the study, the Pace Energy and Climate Center has assembled a team of the leading authorities on biofuels throughout the Northeast, including researchers from Cornell University and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and from consulting firms on energy and environmental issues such as Energetics, Energy and Environmental Research Associates, and Antares Group. The coalition known as Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management as well as Cornell Cooperative Extension branches throughout New York State are also members of the Pace-led team.
The team includes experts in agriculture and woody biomass feedstock production, biofuel production processes, biofuel industry economics, economic development, environmental assessment, public outreach and participation, and related public policy development.
Biomass-based liquid fuels, or biofuels, potentially can play a large role in reducing the state’s emissions of greenhouse gases, which are a leading contributor to global warming.
Three state agencies – NYSERDA, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets – will oversee development of the renewable fuels roadmap.
Using agricultural and industrial capacity. James Van Nostrand, the energy and environmental lawyer who is executive director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, said: “In the State of New York we are challenged to move away from reliance on fossil fuels to fulfill our energy needs. At the same time, we have a tremendous opportunity to use New York’s significant agricultural and industrial capacity to develop conventional and non-conventional, or advanced, biofuels for sale in-state and throughout the Northeast.”
He added, “The economic development potential is huge.”
The project team will be led by Zywia Wojnar, program manager of Science and Policy Partnerships at the Pace Energy and Climate Center, who has an extensive science and management background, including several years in private industry where she acquired broad-based expertise in diverse environmental areas.
Markets for biofuels. The 2007 federal Energy Independence and Security Act, enacted in December 2007, established a national Renewable Fuels Standard of 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels and 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels by 2022.
“This could ensure large markets for biofuels well into the future,” Wojnar stated. “The biofuels roadmap will provide valuable guidance for New York policymakers to determine our role in fulfilling this national energy policy to reduce both our dependence on foreign oil and the emission of harmful greenhouse gases.”
Also on the project management team from the Pace Energy and Climate Center is Sam Swanson, Senior Policy Advisor. Swanson has over twenty years of experience in energy and environmental regulation, including several years in a senior policy position at the New York Public Service Commission on energy research and development issues.
Environmental law leadership. The Energy and Climate Center is an integral part of Pace Law School’s environmental law program, which regularly is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top environmental law programs. For over 20 years, the Energy and Climate Center has been a leading multi-disciplinary organization in the areas of environmental research and policy on energy issues in New York and throughout the Northeast, while training law students in these areas.
Founded in 1976, Pace University School of Law has nearly 6,700 alumni throughout the country and the world. It offers full- and part-time day and evening JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus. The School also offers the Master of Laws in Environmental Law, Real Estate Law and in Comparative Legal Studies and an SJD in environmental law. The School of Law is part of a comprehensive, independent, and diversified University with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. www.law.pace.edu