Farm Bill Appropriations
FY2017 Agricultural Appropriations
(June, 2016) The FY2017 appropriations bills have now been passed by both the full Senate and House Appropriations Committees for the US Department of Agriculture, the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and other Farm Bill clean energy programs.
While some Farm Bill clean energy programs face cuts and caps, for the first time in years REAP has been spared from cuts to mandatory funding. This is good news and a reflection both of widespread support for REAP across the country and effective advocacy.
Other programs did not fare as well. The beleaguered Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) was deeply cut in both chambers, to only $3 million. This funding level will fall far short of what’s needed to develop a sustainable biomass energy crop resource.
Cuts to the programs affect mandatory funding, an unusual move known in Washington, D.C. as a “CHIMP” or “CHange In Mandatory Programs.” Mandatory funding was set in the Farm Bill passed in 2014. The Energy Title was cut overall by 47% in the Farm Bill, on an annual basis.
Following are the FY2017 appropriations figures to date, for key Farm Bill Energy Title programs.
|Section name||2017 Mandatory Funding||President’s 2017 Request||House
|Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels||$15.0||$15.0|
|Rural Energy for America Program||$50.0||$68.5||$50.5||$50.5|
|Biomass Crop Assistance Program||$25.0||$25.0||$3.0||$3.0|