Turning beetle-killed trees into renewable energy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it has awarded nearly $10 million to a consortium of academic, industry and government organizations to research using insect-killed trees in the Rockies as a sustainable feedstock for bioenergy.

"Infestations of pine and spruce bark beetles have impacted over 42 million acres of U.S. forests since 1996, and a changing climate threatens to expand the threat from bark beetle on our forest lands," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "As we take steps to fight the bark beetle, this innovative research will help take the biomass that results from bark beetle infestation and create clean, renewable energy that holds potential for job creation and promises a cleaner future for America."