U.S. biomass industry, they said.
The projects will produce
Justice, USDA set workshop dates advanced biofuels, biopower and
bioproducts using biomass
The U.S. Department of Justice and USDA have announced the dates and feedstocks at the pilot,
locations of joint public workshops that will explore competition and regulatory demonstration and full-commercial
issues in the agriculture industry. The workshops are the first joint Justice/USDA scale. The projects are part of the
workshops ever held to discuss competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture ongoing effort to reduce U.S.
industry. dependence on foreign oil, spur the
The workshops will address the dynamics of competition in agriculture markets, creation of the domestic bio-
including buyer power (monopsony) and vertical integration. They will examine legal industry and provide new jobs in
doctrines and provide an opportunity for farmers, ranchers, consumer groups, many rural areas of the country.
processors, agribusiness and other interested parties to provide examples of Vilsack also noted that USDA
potentially anti-competitive conduct and to discuss any concerns about the Rural Development has selected San
application of the antitrust laws to the agricultural sectors. Diego, Calif.-based Sapphire Energy
Some of the issues to be examined are: the impact of agriculture concentration to receive a non-ARRA loan
on food costs; the effect of agricultural regulatory statutes or other applicable laws guarantee for up to $54.5 million
and programs on competition, and issues relating to patents and intellectual through the Biorefinery Assistance
property affecting agricultural marketing or production. Market practices will also be Program to demonstrate an
examined, including price spreads, forward contracts, packer ownership of livestock integrated algal biorefinery process.
before slaughter, market transparency and increasing retailer concentration The process will cultivate algae in
Each workshop will feature keynote speakers, general expert panels and break- ponds, and will use de-watering and
out panels that will address more narrowly focused issues. At each workshop, the oil-extraction technology to produce
public will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments. The an intermediate that will then be
workshop discussions will be transcribed and placed on the public record, along processed into drop-in green fuels
with submissions and written comments received. such as jet fuel and diesel. The
Dates and topics for the workshops are: actual project will be constructed in
• March 12, 2010 — Issues of Concern to Farmers; Ankeny, Iowa. This session will Columbus, N.M.
serve as an int