"Second generation biofuels like cellulosic ethanol will play a major role in reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy," said Thune. "The Sun Grant program helps SDSU reinforce its reputation as one of the leading institutions for biofuel research. The funding for the program authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill ensures that this vital research will move forward. I look forward to continuing my work with Dr. Kephart and others at SDSU as this initiative moves forward."
The 2008 Farm Bill also includes Senator Thune's Biomass Crop Assistance Program, which provides incentives for the production of cellulosic feedstocks and the construction of second generation biorefineries.
In 2005, Thune secured $50 million for bio-based transportation research for the Sun Grant Initiative ($8.3 million for SDSU) as part of the five-year Transportation reauthorization bill (SAFETEA-LU).