Policy Priorities

ABO advocates for federal and state policies that advance the development and growth of algae and related technologies. Read ABO’s 2016 Policy Priorities here.

Updates on ABO’s 2016 priorities:

Funding/Financing for Algae

In 2015, ABO once again secured strong funding for algae research and development at the U.S. Department of Energy. The Fiscal Year 2016 funding bill approved by Congress included $30 million for algae R&D, a $5 million increase over FY 2015 funding. This marks the sixth year of dedicated DOE algae funding secured by ABO.

This funding has already supported a series of algae awards in 2016, and helped enable a new $90 million funding opportunity for pilot and demonstration biorefineries utilizing algae or other advanced feedstocks.

Carbon Capture and Use

EPA Clean Power Rule
In November, 2014, ABO submitted formal comments to the Environmental Protection Agency requesting explicit recognition of carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technologies as an approved emissions reduction strategy under the agency’s proposed regulation of CO2 emissions from existing power plants. EPA granted ABO’s request in its final rule and also added CCU as an eligible compliance option for new power plants. Download ABO’s full comments.

DOE Fossil Energy Funding
In 2015, ABO worked to secure $10 million in funding for CCU R&D at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy Office. In response, DOE issued a Request for Information on opportunities and challenges for CCU technologies. Read ABO’s formal response.

CCU Tax Credit
Federal tax incentives are available for geologic storage and enhanced oil recovery using CO2 captured from industrial sources, but algae and other biological carbon capture and use technologies are not eligible. ABO continues to advocate for technology neutrality in carbon capture tax policy that would qualify algae and other technologies for this important policy. In an important step, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI] recently introduced legislation to open the section 45Q carbon capture credit to biological sequestration.

USDA Support for Algae

Algae offer profound benefits for agriculture. Whether as a low-water, high-yield biomass crop, alternative source of food and feed ingredients, sustainable alternative to fossil-derived fertilizer, or on-farm wastewater / nutrient management tools, algae are transforming 21st century agriculture. ABO is working to develop policies to expand USDA support for algae production and algae-derived products, including through the next reauthorization of the Farm Bill.