7 USC 8103 - Biorefinery assistance

(a) Purpose 
The purpose of this section is to assist in the development of new and emerging technologies for the development of advanced biofuels, so as to
(1) increase the energy independence of the United States;
(2) promote resource conservation, public health, and the environment;
(3) diversify markets for agricultural and forestry products and agriculture waste material; and

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(4) create jobs and enhance the economic development of the rural economy.
(b) Definitions 
In this section:
(1) Eligible entity 
The term eligible entity means an individual, entity, Indian tribe, or unit of State or local government, including a corporation, farm cooperative, farmer cooperative organization, association of agricultural producers, National Laboratory, institution of higher education, rural electric cooperative, public power entity, or consortium of any of those entities.
(2) Eligible technology 
The term eligible technology means, as determined by the Secretary
(A) a technology that is being adopted in a viable commercial-scale operation of a biorefinery that produces an advanced biofuel; and
(B) a technology not described in subparagraph (A) that has been demonstrated to have technical and economic potential for commercial application in a biorefinery that produces an advanced biofuel.
(c) Assistance 
The Secretary shall make available to eligible entities
(1) grants to assist in paying the costs of the development and construction of demonstration-scale biorefineries to demonstrate the commercial viability of 1 or more processes for converting renewable biomass to advanced biofuels; and
(2) guarantees for loans made to fund the development, construction, and retrofitting of commercial-scale biorefineries using eligible technology.
(d) Grants 


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(1) Competitive basis 
The Secretary shall award grants under subsection (c)(1) on a competitive basis.
(2) Selection criteria 

(A) In general 
In approving grant applications, the Secretary shall establish a priority scoring system that assigns priority scores to each application and only approve applications that exceed a specified minimum, as determined by the Secretary.
(B) Feasibility 
In approving a grant application, the Secretary shall determine the technical and economic feasibility of the project based on a feasibility study of the project described in the application conducted by an independent third party.
(C) Scoring system 
In determining the priority scoring system, the Secretary shall consider
(i) the potential market for the advanced biofuel and the byproducts produced;
(ii) the level of financial participation by the applicant, including support from non-Federal and private sources;
(iii) whether the applicant is proposing to use a feedstock not previously used in the production of advanced biofuels;
(iv) whether the applicant is proposing to work with producer associations or cooperatives;
(v) whether the applicant has established that the adoption of the process proposed in the application will have a positive impact on resource conservation, public health, and the environment;
(vi) the potential for rural economic development;
(vii) whether the area in which the applicant proposes to locate the biorefinery has other similar facilities;
(viii) whether the project can be replicated; and
(ix) scalability for commercial use.
(3) Cost sharing 

(A) Limits 
The amount of a grant awarded for development and construction of a biorefinery under subsection (c)(1) shall not exceed an amount equal to 30 percent of the cost of the project.
(B) Form of grantee share 

(i) In general The grantee share of the cost of a project may be made in the form of cash or material.
(ii) Limitation The amount of the grantee share that is made in the form of material shall not exceed 15 percent of the amount of the grantee share determined under subparagraph (A).
(e) Loan guarantees 

(1) Selection criteria 

(A) In general 
In approving loan guarantee applications, the Secretary shall establish a priority scoring system that assigns priority scores to each application and only approve applications that exceed a specified minimum, as determined by the Secretary.
(B) Feasibility 
In approving a loan guarantee application, the Secretary shall determine the technical and economic feasibility of the project based on a feasibility study of the project described in the application conducted by an independent third party.
(C) Scoring system 
In determining the priority scoring system for loan guarantees under subsection (c)(2), the Secretary shall consider
(i) whether the applicant has established a market for the advanced biofuel and the byproducts produced;
(ii) whether the area in which the applicant proposes to place the biorefinery has other similar facilities;
(iii) whether the applicant is proposing to use a feedstock not previously used in the production of advanced biofuels;
(iv) whether the applicant is proposing to work with producer associations or cooperatives;
(v) the level of financial participation by the applicant, including support from non-Federal and private sources;
(vi) whether the applicant has established that the adoption of the process proposed in the application will have a positive impact on resource conservation, public health, and the environment;
(vii) whether the applicant can establish that if adopted, the biofuels production technology proposed in the application will not have any significant negative impacts on existing manufacturing plants or other facilities that use similar feedstocks;
(viii) the potential for rural economic development;
(ix) the level of local ownership proposed in the application; and
(x) whether the project can be replicated.
(2) Limitations 

(A) Maximum amount of loan guaranteed 
The principal amount of a loan guaranteed under subsection (c)(2) may not exceed $250,000,000.
(B) Maximum percentage of loan guaranteed 

(i) In general Except as otherwise provided in this subparagraph, a loan guaranteed under subsection (c)(2) shall be in an amount not to exceed 80 percent of the project costs, as determined by the Secretary.
(ii) Other direct Federal funding The amount of a loan guaranteed for a project under subsection (c)(2) shall be reduced by the amount of other direct Federal funding that the eligible entity receives for the same project.
(iii) Authority to guarantee the loan The Secretary may guarantee up to 90 percent of the principal and interest due on a loan guaranteed under subsection (c)(2).
(C) Loan guarantee fund distribution 
Of the funds made available for loan guarantees for a fiscal year under subsection (h), 50 percent of the funds shall be reserved for obligation during the second half of the fiscal year.
(f) Consultation 
In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of Energy.
(g) Condition on provision of assistance 

(1) In general 
As a condition of receiving a grant or loan guarantee under this section, an eligible entity shall ensure that all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors in the performance of construction work financed, in whole or in part, with the grant or loan guarantee, as the case may be, shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality, as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with sections 3141 through 3144, 3146, and 3147 of title 40.
(2) Authority and functions 
The Secretary of Labor shall have, with respect to the labor standards described in paragraph (1), the authority and functions set forth in Reorganization Plan Numbered 14 of 1950 (5 U.S.C. App) and section 3145 of title 40.
(h) Funding 

(1) Mandatory funding 
Of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall use for the cost of loan guarantees under this section, to remain available until expended
(A) $75,000,000 for fiscal year 2009; and
(B) $245,000,000 for fiscal year 2010.
(2) Discretionary funding 
In addition to any other funds made available to carry out this section, there is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $150,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2012.