New A&M Alliance Fueled by Rising Costs

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With energy costs as high as they've ever been, Texas A&M wants to change that. Friday, the state experiment stations for agriculture and engineering formed a BioEnergy Alliance, all in an effort to cultivate new ways to run America.

If you drive, you've surely felt run down by gas prices. Those rising costs are the face of the American energy crisis. But Texas A&M wants to take the lead in solving the problems. Engineering and agriculture came together Friday.

"We would be working forever separately and maybe not doing things as efficiently as one can," said Elsa Murano, the director of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station.

"We just sort of started coming together and realizing that the biofuels question is two parts," said Kem Bennett, the director fo the Texas Engineering Experiment Station. "It's the actual fuels that will come out of this and the energy, the engineering part. But it's also the biology part."

And that's what two A&M System agencies -- engineering and agriculture -- will align over. Committees made of experts from both sides will combine their knowledge to find the best ways to produce the farm-based fuels, and create the best engines to run them.

The fact that Texas A&M is a leader in the two now-aligned fields makes this partnership that much bigger.

"We are the natural place to build an alliance like this that will have a great impact on our economy," said Bennett.

"Being so dependent on foreign oil is obviously something that we're realizing is not a good thing strategically down the road, so I think every American recognizes that," said Murano.

"We would like to see cars getting 90 miles to the gallon out of some of our biofuels, and we think that's possible," said Bennett.

And if the remedy for the pain at the pump is homegrown at A&M, the alliance engineered Friday will be that much sweeter.