It looks like upstate New York will be a launching pad for alternative energy in the U.S. (see “The Holy Grail,” Currents, March/April 2007). Five traditional ethanol plants are underway in the state, and a demonstration cellulosic ethanol plant is being built near Rochester. That 15,000 square-foot cellulosic ethanol facility will convert New York State’s agricultural and forestry resources, including wood chips, paper sludge and switchgrass, to 500,000 gallons a year of biomass ethanol. It will be the first facility of its kind in the U.S., and only the second in the world (the other is in Canada). Mascoma Corporation is leading the project with support from the state government in Albany, including a $14.8 million grant. It received another $39 million from venture capital firms and is hoping to bank on President Bush’s State of the Union pledge to increase U.S. biofuel use from five billion to 35 billion gallons by 2017.