Record Number of Groups Support Farm Bill Clean Energy Programs

A record number of 136 diverse groups from around the country jointly signed a letter to the members of a House-Senate conference committee working out differences between the House and Senate Farm Bills.

“We are writing to urge your support for a five year Farm Bill including re-authorization and $900 million in mandatory funding of the Farm Bill’s energy title,” the signers said. The funding level of $900 million over five years for Energy Title programs would still be a reduction in funding of 31% per year from the last Farm Bill.

The letter emphasizes the broad benefits of this strategy: “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 Senate and House Farm Bills are quite different. While the two bills renew many of the same programs, the Senate Farm Bill provides actual funding, although reduced. The House Farm Bill completely eliminates all mandatory funding for the programs while they seldom provide discretionary funding, so the House Farm Bill would most likely end the programs.

Download the letter here.