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PNS Daily Newscast - November 25, 2020 

Feeding hungry families, on Thanksgiving and beyond; and is that turkey really from a family farm? (Note to Broadcasters: The newscast has been granted a holiday for Thanksgiving, but we'll return first thing Friday.)

2020Talks - November 24, 2020 

Formal transition to Biden presidency begins; key Biden Cabinet nominations to be announced today. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

It's Growing Like a Weed

June 18, 2007

Nashville, TN - It grows alongside rural roads in Tennessee, and it may be part of the answer in weaning the U.S. from its dependence on foreign oil.

The much-talked about potential of turning switchgrass into biofuel is set to get even more investment in the federal Energy Bill being debated in Congress. The grass needs little fertilizer, grows in almost any soil and is perennial. Those things are all in its favor as one of the advanced cellulosic biofuels getting attention in Congress.

Kurt Zwally is a former deputy director in the federal Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. He says Tennessee could be the nation's top producer of what's being called "Grassoline."

“The advanced celluosics are wildlife friendly, but [we need to] ensure these fuels are grown and produced in a way that also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”

Funding for switchgrass energy development and infrastructure is in the next proposed energy bill. A University of Tennessee study shows aggressive biofuels production in Tennessee would create four thousand jobs, and bring in an extra $400 million a year in taxes.

Zwally notes that while corn traditionally receives the most attention in domestic biofuel production, there are many other crops that could be grown for fuel.

“We could use wood waste, or dedicated energy crops like the president has talked about -- switchgrass and native grasses.”

The UT study on biofuels is at

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - TN