WASHINGTON — Today, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) successfully secured passage of his green technology bill, the Pyrolysis Innovation Grants Act, out of the House Agriculture Committee. The bill will invest $5 million each year through 2027 in pyrolysis, the green energy technology that allows farmers to convert nut shells into fuels and other valuable commodities instead of openly burning them. If widely used, pyrolysis will add a brand-new stream of green income for farmers in the Valley, improve Valley air, and create new high paying jobs.
“This bill will create new, green, high paying jobs while keeping our air clean and our soil fertile,” said Rep. Harder during his remarks. “And best of all – it will create those jobs right here in the Valley instead of shipping them off to China.”
“Promising commercial ready technologies that convert almond harvest by-products into higher value biocarbon products have been developed and the Almond Alliance commends Rep. Harder for supporting needed funding to pave the way for biocarbon economy to emerge,” said Almond Alliance of California President Elaine Trevino. “This process, which involves heating nutshells at high temperature in the absence of oxygen, is called pyrolysis. California’s almond growers are proud to be innovators who are constantly looking to put everything we grow to its highest and best use. We appreciate Congressman Harder’s efforts to support these efforts to develop climate-friendly biocarbon products.”
Read his full remarks below:
Today I’m proud to speak on my bill scheduled for markup today, H.R. 5589 the Pyrolysis Innovation Grants Act. This bill will establish a first of its kind pyrolysis grant program at USDA, directed by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Specifically, it funds at least ten pilot projects that will fight greenhouse gas emissions by turning tree nut by-products like almond shells into higher value biocarbon products like fuels and biochar.
This in turn will help create new, green, high paying jobs while keeping our air clean and our soil fertile. And best of all – those jobs will be created right here in America rather than in China, Mexico, or anywhere else.
Every year we grow more than a billion pounds of nuts in America. Half of that weight is the delicious nuts you find in your bag of snacks, but the other hundreds of millions of pounds are the shells that our farmers are forced to get rid of by burning in open fields.
Burning those shells injects smoke in our air, costs our farmers money, and does no good for anybody.
So this bill funds projects that use a process called pyrolysis that turns those nut shells into everything from fuel for our cars to nutrients for our soil. I won’t get into the science today, but I will tell you about the incredible impact it will have on agricultural communities like mine.
If you’re the almond or pistachio farmer living down the street from me in Turlock, pyrolysis means you can sell your shells for profit, opening up a brand-new stream of revenue for your business. It turns something that costs you money into something that makes you money.
If you’re a worker looking for a better paying job, pyrolysis means you can get one of the thousands of new jobs this technology will create. I’ve toured the plants doing this work in the Central Valley right now and I know our workers will see an incredible return on the investment in this bill.
If you’re a kid growing up with childhood asthma just like I did, pyrolysis means farmers are no longer burning shells and creating smoke close to where you live or where you go to school. It means one day you might be able to put that inhaler down for good.
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