The Senate Agriculture Committee released draft Farm Bill proposal on Friday, April 20, that fails to provide any mandatory funding for core clean energy programs that help farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs, create jobs and generate homegrown clean energy. Members are set to begin debate on Wednesday.
The Senate Agriculture Committee draft would inflict steep cuts to programs, including REAP (Rural Energy for America Program), BCAP (Biomass Crop Assistance Program), and Biorefinery Assistance.
These programs have pushed innovative energy development and provide a safety net for farmers. (Click here to learn about the accomplishments of the 2002 and 2008 Energy Title.)
Without mandatory funding for these programs, they will wither, rolling back advances in clean, homegrown energy and placing rural jobs in peril. Contact the committee to demand mandatory funding of the energy title.
In 2011, the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), just one program impacted by proposed cuts:
- Created or saved 7,000 jobs
- Cut greenhouse gases by almost 2 million metric tons
- Saved the equivalent of over 2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity
- Generated $456 million in investments in our communities
“We thank the Senators for including Energy Title programs in the new Farm Bill in the difficult climate they face, especially the leadership from Senators Stabenow, Lugar and Harkin. We also hope the Agriculture Committee can restore mandatory funding to these core clean energy programs that mean so much to our rural communities and to our nation,” said Andy Olsen, senior policy advocate with the Environmental Law & Policy Center.