FRANKFORT, KY --- Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has formed an executive task force on biomass and biofuels development in Kentucky. 

The 21-member group will work to develop a sustainable biomass and biofuels industry in Kentucky. 

"I am asking this group to take a hands-on approach in working towards finding viable energy resources that will not only address the future energy needs of Kentucky, but will develop an industry that can revitalize rural and local economies, create jobs, and develop prosperity for the state as it seeks to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions," Beshear said. 

Last November, the governor unveiled Kentucky's strategic energy plan, "Intelligent Energy Choices for Kentucky's Future." It establishes specific goals for the development of a biomass and biofuels industry in the state. 

"To that end, this task force will be the facilitator for developing this industry, using both forestry products and energy crops, which will provide significant economic stimulus within rural communities statewide," said Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters. 

The governor signed an executive order that outlines minimum accomplishments that the task force is to report no later than Nov. 30 of this year. Among the items that task force should accomplish are: 

  • Validate Kentucky's biomass production capabilities within a sustainable environment
  • Evaluate the status of energy crop and forestry biotechnology and genetics, and recommend a plan of action
  • Validate Kentucky's potential biomass demand
  • Evaluate transportation, logistics and available business structures in Kentucky
  • Facilitate economic impact analysis
  • Recommend legislative action to support the development of this industry.