115 Diverse Groups Join Call on Congress to Renew Farm Bill Clean Energy Programs

April 29, 2013 – Today, 115 diverse groups from around the country sent a joint letter to Congress calling for renewal of the clean energy programs in the Farm Bill. Congress Agricultural Committees are working on their third attempt to renew the Farm Bill.

The text of the letter follows and may be downloaded here (PDF).

Dear Senators Stabenow and Cochran and Representatives Lucas and Peterson:

As you know, diverse agricultural energy technologies such as advanced biofuels, biogas, bioproducts, biopower, energy crops, wind, solar and energy efficiency are poised for further strong growth. These technologies already make great contributions to the nation’s economic, environmental and energy security and will continue to do so in the coming years, provided that Congress maintains stable and successful policies that support their continued development and commercialization. America needs a new Farm Bill passed as soon as possible, with a strong Energy Title that includes robust mandatory funding.

The Energy Title programs contained in the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills are vital components in the continued growth of these industries. 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. Since some of these programs just got started, the next five years will be crucial for achieving success.

These programs are quite unique and are integral to a new Farm Bill. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is well prepared to continue their significant progress in advancing renewable energy, energy efficiency and biobased products for the agricultural, energy and forestry sectors.

Since 2009, thousands of direct and indirect jobs have been created or saved in rural areas by the Farm Bill’s Energy Title programs that benefitted almost 12,000 rural small businesses, agricultural producers, and advanced biofuel refineries across the country. This economic growth is occurring from a modest amount of federal money that leverages billions of dollars in private investment. Continued growth in new agriculture, manufacturing, and high tech jobs are at great risk without continued Federal investment.


The outstanding benefits of Energy Title programs 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 come under increasing budgetary pressure, these energy investments create new opportunities for producers and rural communities to cut input costs and further diversify their income.

We recognize the fiscal challenges facing your committees as a new Farm Bill is drafted this year. However, for the reasons noted above, we urge you to ensure the vital Energy Title programs are re-authorized and afforded significant mandatory funding over the life of the legislation, matching or exceeding the $800 million over five years in the Senate Farm Bill passed last year. Helping to grow the economy with these cost effective and transformative programs will ease fiscal challenges in the years ahead while simultaneously addressing other critical national priorities. Polls show these policies are very popular with the American people.

We commend you for your leadership on all of these important issues and pledge to work with you to craft farm and energy policies that work for all of agriculture, clean energy industries and America.

Thank you.




National Organizations

25x’25 Alliance

ACEEE – American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Advanced Biofuels Association

Advanced Biofuels USA

Advanced Ethanol Council

Ag Energy Coalition

Airlines for America

Algal Biomass Organization

American Biogas Council

American Coalition for Ethanol

American Corn Growers Institute for Public Policy

American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)

American Security Action Fund

American Wind Energy Association

Association of State Energy Research Institutions

Bio Feedstock Industry Association

Biomass Power Association

Biotechnology Industry Organization

Distributed Wind Energy Association

Environmental and Energy Study Institute

Forest Landowners Association

Growth Energy

National Association of Clean Water Agencies

National Association of Conservation Districts

National Association of State Energy Officials

National Center for Appropriate Technology

National Farmers Union

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)

National Sorghum Producers

Renewable Fuels Association

Solar Energy Industries Association



Regional and State Organizations

Adams Electric Cooperative

Agricultural Leaders of Michigan

Alabama Agribusiness Council

Alabama Environmental Council

Arkansas Advanced Energy Association

Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives


Bio Nebraska Life Sciences Association



Biofuels Center of North Carolina

Blackbelt Cooperative of Alabama

Clean Energy Group

Clean Up the River Environment

Climate Solutions

Colorado Harvesting Energy Network

Dakota Rural Action

Delaware Interfaith Power and Light

East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition

Environmental Law & Policy Center

Florida BioFuels & Energy Association, Inc.

Fresh Energy

Georgia Agribusiness Council

Georgia Bio

Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association

Green State Solutions

Hoosier Environmental Council

Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization – iBIO(R)

Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Iowa Environmental Council

Iowa Interfaith Power & Light

Iowa Renewable Energy Association

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association

Iowa Solar/Small Wind Energy Trade Association

Iowa Wind Energy Association

Kentucky Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy

LifeScience Alley

Maine Interfaith Power & Light

Memphis Bioworks Foundation, Regioinal AgBioworks Initiative

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute


Michigan Agri-Business Association

Michigan Environmental Council

Michigan Land Use Institute

Midwest Energy Alternatives Project

Mississippi Agricultural Industry Council

Mississippi Association of RC&D Councils

Mississippi Biomass and Renewable Energy Council

Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association

Mississippi Solar Energy Society

Missouri Dairy Association

Missouri Energy Initiative

Missouri Forest Products Association

Missouri Soybean Association

Nebraska Ethanol Board

New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light

North Carolina Association of Professional Loggers

North Carolina Biosciences Organization

North Dakota Alliance for Renewable Energy

North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives

Northwest SEED

Pennsylvania Biomass Energy Association

Powder River Basin Resource Council

RENEW Wisconsin

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union

Rural Advantage

Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative

South Carolina Biomass Council

South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance

South Dakota Biotech Association

South Dakota Renewable Energy Association

Southeast Agriculture & Forestry Energy Resources Alliance (SAFER)

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE)

Strategic Biomass Solutions

Tennessee Renewable Energy & Economic Development Council

Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association

The Catfish Institute

Vermont Energy Investment Corporation

Virginia Forest Products Association

Western Organization of Resource Councils