Senate Omnibus Appropriations Bill Slashes Farm Bill Clean Energy Programs
The Omnibus Appropriations Bill introduced to the US Senate late on December 14 would cut Farm Bill clean energy programs by over $120 million and would eliminate the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. See the following list of cuts:
- Rural Energy for America Program, Section 9007. Cut from total $99.34 million in 2010 to $70 million in 2011.
- Biomass Crop Assistance Program, Section 9011, is denied administrative funds, effectively killing the program.
- Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, Section 9005 is reduced by $28 million.
- Biorefinery Assistance Program Section 9003 is reduced by $56 million.
Congress has an alternative to continue funding the federal government next year: The Continuing Resolution already passed by the House continues operations based on the 2010 appropriations.
These cuts came as the 2008 Farm Bill clean energy programs are just delivering results. A number of awards for long-awaited advanced biofuels projects are on the way. The Rural Energy for America Program has already helped thousands of America’s farmers and ranchers save money with energy efficiency and develop new income with diverse and modern renewable energy technologies like biogas, wind, solar and more.
UPDATE DECEMBER 22:
Good News for Energy Title programs – Senate leadership dropped efforts to pass the Omnibus. Instead, on December 21, the Senate passed (and the House agreed with) another stopgap continuing resolution that would maintain FY 2010 spending levels through March 4.
Thanks to everyone who told their Senators to oppose cutting Energy Title programs at this critical time. Stay tuned as we head in the New Year, since we can expect more attacks on clean energy development funding.