Broad Support for Homegrown Clean Energy Shown in National Letter
WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 100 diverse groups representing agriculture, energy, rural development and conservation called on Congress today to renew and fund core energy programs in the Farm Bill that push forward clean, homegrown energy. These programs advance energy efficiency, wind, solar, new energy crops, biomass energy and biobased products.
In a joint letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, signers noted, “These important and growing industries all benefit agriculture and forestry and are poised to make huge contributions to our economic, environmental and national security in the coming years, provided that we maintain stable policies that support clean energy.”
The energy programs are administered by the USDA and have made a number of accomplishments since the first Energy Title was created in the 2002 Farm Bill:
* The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) has supported nearly 8,000 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across the nation in varying agricultural sectors.
* The Biomass Crop Assistance Program has assisted farmers in developing homegrown energy crops that support farms and supply needed energy sources
* Biofuel advancements have accelerated through support from the Biorefinery Assistance Program.
“This letter arrives at the Agriculture Committees as rising gasoline prices remind America that our long-term energy challenges to our nation’s well-being require long-term commitment,” said Andy Olsen, ELPC Senior Policy Advocate. “Polls show the American people believe the Farm Bill should support clean energy and we know Congress can pass a Farm Bill that reflects the will of the American people.”