Senate Ag Committee Approves Mandatory Funding of Core Energy Programs

Thursday, April 26, 2012



ELPC Commends Senate Agriculture Committee Support of Homegrown Energy

WASHINGTON – The Senate Agriculture Committee took an important step to support America’s farmers, renewable homegrown energy, rural development and national security by funding core energy programs through a Farm Bill amendment passed today.

“We commend Chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and the bipartisan group of 11 Senators who supported a bipartisan amendment supporting mandatory funding for programs that reduce dependence on polluting fossil fuels and help farmers cut energy costs and produce innovative renewable energy for America,” said Andy Olsen, Senior Policy Advocate with the Environmental Law & Policy Center.

“The state of the economy and our continuing energy challenges underscore the need for programs like the REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) and  BCAP (Biomass Crop Assistance Program) which generate rural development and provide a safety net to farmers,” Olsen said.

“We thank the energy title supporters, Senators Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) for their support of an Energy Title amendment that provides mandatory funding of these core energy programs,” Olsen added.


The Environmental Law & Policy Center is the Midwest’s leading environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization.

Chairwoman Stabenow: REAP Crucial to Next Farm Bill

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, recently highlighted the importance of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for energy creation and job growth. In this article, published on June 30, 2011 in the Huron Daily Tribune, she explained how REAP and other Farm Bill energy initiatives are helping farmers and rural small businesses invest in clean energy projects and boosting job creation and employment.
From the Huron Daily Tribune 06/30/2011

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New Rules for Biomass Crop Assistance Program

On October 27, 2010, USDA/FSA published the final rule implementing the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) in the Federal Register.  The rule is effective immediately and summarized, below. You can download the final BCAP rule here.

ELPC Reaction to Final BCAP Rule

ELPC welcomes publication of a BCAP rule that will finally and fully implement the entire BCAP program.  However, ELPC is disappointed that the final rule fails to ensure the majority of program resources will support sustainable perennial energy crop production.  No funding limitations are placed on the collection of existing biomass materials and the final rule does not require a competitive review process to give priority consideration to the most environmentally and economically sound BCAP projects.

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ELPC Holds Washington Briefings on New Energy Crop Program

This week ELPC organized and held well-attended briefings in Washington D.C. to educate House and Senate staff on the environmental and energy benefits of sustainably-grown “energy crops.” ELPC, in partnership with National Farmers Union (NFU) and the 25x’25 Alliance, convened the briefings, which featured speakers from ELPC, National Wildlife Federation, the University of Illinois, and industry organizations.

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