Recent Press Releases

Thune promotes SDSU Sun Grant Initiative

Dozen lawmakers endorse ethanol research project

June 23, 2005

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune led a bipartisan group of a dozen lawmakers this week in urging House and Senate Transportation conferees to preserve the bio-based transportation research provision he advocated in the Senate-passed Highway Bill.

The Sun Grant Initiative seeks to facilitate the development of biobased energy technologies at the regional and local level. The Senate-passed provision contains over $60 million for bio-based transportation research, including roughly $10 million for South Dakota State University over the next five years.

“Senator Thune deserves our thanks for getting funding for this important research funding included in the Senate version of the highway bill,” said Kevin Kephart, director of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU. “The payoff from such an investment in science will benefit all of rural America by pointing to new alternatives to fossil fuels. By lessening our reliance on imported fossil fuels, we can also improve our national security.”

Thune and Senator Hillary Clinton, D-NY, both members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the Highway Bill Conference Committee, organized the latest effort to promote the Sun Grant Initiative. Other signatures on the letter include fellow Highway bill conferee Senator Tim Johnson (SD), Senator Charles Schumer (NY), Senator Gordon Smith (OR), Senator Ron Wyden (OR), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY), Rep. Darlene Hooley (OR), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY), Rep. Frank Lucas (OK), Rep. Stephanie Herseth (SD), Rep. Greg Walden (OR).