Farm Energy Update
REAP Funding Reaches Record Level for 2010
Good news for clean energy! Congress’ Agriculture Appropriations conference committee significantly increased total funding for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for next year. In resolving differences between the House and Senate 2010 ag spending bill, the committee added nearly $40 million in supplemental funding to the $60 million in existing funding.
This is great news for REAP, and a strong endorsement for this low carbon ag energy program. REAP helps farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses save money with energy efficiency and develop new clean energy systems with wind, solar, biomass and more. With $99.3 in total funding now slated for next year, this very popular program will now come closer to meeting strong demand.
Next stops: the Senate and House of Representatives to vote on the measure and then to the President to sign it. A big thanks to Congressional appropriators!
New Senate Climate Bill Includes Low Carbon Ag Energy Fund
The Kerry-Boxer draft climate legislation released on Wednesday, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, contains hopeful news for low carbon ag energy.
The bill would create a supplemental agriculture, renewable energy and forestry fund for USDA programs and projects that cut carbon pollution but that otherwise wouldn’t receive significant offset credit. Funding would come from an auction of carbon pollution allowances.
This is a major improvement from House legislation, which had no similar ag energy funding. It is also very similar in concept to ELPC’s proposed “low carbon ag energy” program to fund REAP and other carbon-friendly ag energy programs, supported by 25x’25 and other national organizations.
Senator Stabenow Circulates Ag Offset Amendment Boosting ag clean Energy Programs
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has circulated a proposed amendment to Senate climate legislation which creates new ag energy opportunities for farmers and rural businesses. It establishes new offset programs and strong investments in low carbon ag energy.
In particular, the Stabenow amendment would use proceeds from the sale of carbon pollution allowances to fund the Farm Bill Energy Title’s REAP, Biorefinery Assistance and Repowering Assistance programs.These substantial investments which would amount to hundreds of millions of dollars annually for each program would leverage even larger increased private investment in rural America, open new markets for biomass and create new jobs. Follow FarmEnergy.org for more information.