The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Office of Congressional and government Affairs
At A Glance
Public Law
: Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008
: 110-246
Session: 110th Congress (Second Session)

The following are excerpts, highlighted in red, from the final legislation and/or conference report which contain references to and studies for The National Academies. (Pound signs [##] between passages denote the deletion of unrelated text.)

HR6124 Peterson (D-Minn.) 6/05/08
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)

To provide for the continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2012, and for other purposes.
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PART III--New Grant and Research Programs



(a) Definition of Food Desert- In this section, the term `food desert' means an area in the United States with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly such an area composed of predominantly lower-income neighborhoods and communities.

(b) Study and Report- The Secretary shall carry out a study of, and prepare a report on, food deserts.

(c) Contents- The study and report shall--

(1) assess the incidence and prevalence of food deserts;
(2) identify--

(A) characteristics and factors causing and influencing food deserts; and

(B) the effect on local populations of limited access to affordable and nutritious food; and

(3) provide recommendations for addressing the causes and effects of food deserts through measures that include--

(A) community and economic development initiatives;

(B) incentives for retail food market development, including supermarkets, small grocery stores, and farmers' markets; and

(C) improvements to Federal food assistance and nutrition education programs.

(d) Coordination With Other Agencies and Organizations- The Secretary shall conduct the study under this section in coordination and consultation with--

(1) the Secretary of Health and Human Services;
(2) the Administrator of the Small Business Administration;
(3) the Institute of Medicine; and
(4) representatives of appropriate businesses, academic institutions, and nonprofit and faith-based organizations.

(e) Submission to Congress- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate the report prepared under this section, including the findings and recommendations described in subsection (c).

(f) Authorization of Appropriations- There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $500,000.



Subpart A--Cellulosic Biofuel



(a) Study- The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Energy, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to produce an analysis of current scientific findings to determine--

(1) current biofuels production, as well as projections for future production,

(2) the maximum amount of biofuels production capable in United States forests and farmlands, including the current quantities and character of the feedstocks and including such information as regional forest inventories that are commercially available, used in the production of biofuels,

(3) the domestic effects of an increase in biofuels production levels, including the effects of such levels on--

(A) the price of fuel,
(B) the price of land in rural and suburban communities,
(C) crop acreage, forest acreage, and other land use,
(D) the environment, due to changes in crop acreage, fertilizer use, runoff, water use, emissions from vehicles utilizing biofuels, and other factors,
(E) the price of feed,
(F) the selling price of grain crops and forest products,
(G) exports and imports of grains and forest products,
(H) taxpayers, through cost or savings to commodity crop payments, and
(I) the expansion of refinery capacity,

(4) the ability to convert corn ethanol plants for other uses, such as cellulosic ethanol or biodiesel,

(5) a comparative analysis of corn ethanol versus other biofuels and renewable energy sources, considering cost, energy output, and ease of implementation,

(6) the impact of the tax credit established by this subpart on the regional agricultural and silvicultural capabilities of commercially available forest inventories, and

(7) the need for additional scientific inquiry, and specific areas of interest for future research.

(b) Report- The Secretary of the Treasury shall submit an initial report of the findings of the study required under subsection (a) to Congress not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act (36 months after such date in the case of the information required by subsection (a)(6)), and a final report not later than 12 months after such date (42 months after such date in the case of the information required by subsection (a)(6)).