The Agriculture Energy Coalition (AgEC), along with 25×25 and the Environmental Law & Policy Center, led a group of more than 100 organizations in sending a letter urging Congressional conferees to support reauthorization of the Energy Title programs of the Farm Bill for five more years.
If approved, the bill would provide $900 million in mandatory funding for agriculture energy programs.
Signatories include such organizations as the National Farmers Union, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), American Biogas Council, Biomasss Power Association, DWEA, AWEA and SEIA.
The AgEC and co-signers wrote that the Energy Title programs contained in the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills are vital components in the continued growth of several industries, including renewable energy, bioproducts, renewable chemicals, and energy efficiency, and also crucial to maintain a sustainable agriculture sector across the United States.
The letter says, “Programs like the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), Biorefinery Assistance Program (BAP) and Biobased Markets Program (Biopreferred) strongly support American agriculture and ensure broad public benefits to the entire country.
“The outstanding benefits of Energy Title programs also flow from a very modest investment. They accounted for only 0.7 percent of overall spending in the 2008 Farm Bill. As longstanding agricultural safety net programs lose funding or end, these energy investments create new opportunities for producers and rural communities to further cut input costs and diversify their income.”
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