BP has pledged to put $500 million into a new research program that will investigate how bioscience can boost energy production and reduce energy's environmental impacts. A number of institutions have been selected to join with BP in the new Energy Biosciences Institute including the University of California Berkeley and its partners the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The institute will aim to research cutting edge techniques for the production of new, cleaner energy sources, starting with biofuels for transportation. Other areas of research undertaken will be the conversion of heavy hydrocarbons to clean fuels, carbon sequestration, and improved recovery from existing oil and gas reservoirs.

Clean Edge reported California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as saying, "I can't tell you how excited I am that BP has chosen UC Berkeley and California for its new $500 Million Energy Biosciences Institute. This is a perfect complement to our new low-carbon fuel standard which will cut carbon emissions 10 percent from our cars by the year 2020, and with research facilities like the Energy Biosciences Institute, California will continue to be a leader in the Cleantech industry."

Analysis: Its great to see a petroleum company sink some of its vast profits into biofuels research but it is clear that BP still has its own agenda. No matter how much money you put into improving the recovery of petroleum from existing oil and gas reservoirs, its still going to run out one day. If I was BP, I'd buy A123 Systems and become the leader in lithium-ion batteries instead of carbon sequestration.

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[Source: Clean Edge]

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