Senator visits Tri-Cities to talk about biofuel research - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Senator visits Tri-Cities to talk about biofuel research

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RICHLAND, Wash. -

Senator Maria Cantwell visited Tri-Cities on Saturday to talk about how our local area can help increase the use of biofuel. Cantwell spoke at the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Lab at WSU Tri-Cites about how their research can help develop new ways to create biofuel for planes. 

An FAA bill was passed 10 days ago to create a research center for alternative jet fuels. The U.S. government is investing money in the project with hopes to decrease dependency on foreign oil. Their goal is to lower costs for operating military and commercial planes by producing an efficient type of fuel made in the United States.

Senator Maria Cantwell says this area would be a great for the new center. "The Tri-Cities could play a national leadership role in solving a very big challenge for us which is higher fuel costs," said Cantwell.

Now the FAA is looking for a location with land to make jet fuel. Right now researchers at WSU Tri-Cities and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories are working on projects to turn plants into biofuels. They've already invested more than $16.5 million dollars in the projects.

Studies show creating a new center could potentially boost the biofuel industry which could create more than 190,000 jobs in the next decade.

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