WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Agriculture Energy Coalition (AgEC) today urged Members of the House Committee on Agriculture to ensure that energy title programs receive sufficient, mandatory funding as they mark up the next Farm Bill. These programs have been a success in helping revitalize rural communities, generate new employment opportunities, and create new agriculture market opportunities across the country. They can continue to produce a high rate of return for rural areas in all 50 states.
“Advanced biofuel, biobased product and renewable chemical manufacturers are making visible progress in commercializing biorefineries. The Farm Bill energy programs provide a strong return on investment for American taxpayers.”
“Farm Bill energy programs have helped the renewable energy industry create thousands of jobs across the country in rural communities where they are very much needed. They have also helped farmers put more than 160,000 acres of underutilized farmland across 12 states back into production. And they have helped hundreds of new American businesses generate 100,000 jobs producing home-grown biobased products. These effective programs are a vital part of the overall Farm Bill. The Coalition thanks Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) for offering an amendment to the committee’s mark that would ensure strong, mandatory funding,” stated Lloyd Ritter, co-director of the Agriculture Energy Coalition.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson stated, “Farm bill energy programs are successfully creating new markets for our family farm members. These programs have broad, bipartisan support across the country and produce outsized benefits for rural economies and our nation’s energy security.”
“Farm Bill energy programs have helped new companies unlock private investment capital for construction of innovative biorefineries in every region of the United States,” added Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “Advanced biofuel, biobased product and renewable chemical manufacturers are making visible progress in commercializing biorefineries. The Farm Bill energy programs provide a strong return on investment for American taxpayers.”
Michael McAdams, President of the Advanced Biofuels Association, said, “The energy title of the Farm bill is a core component of a national strategy to build a diverse set of energy options to reduce foreign oil and create economic and national security. The efforts of the Senate to restore funds to the energy title in a year that saw gasoline top $4 dollars a gallon is a wise decision for the future of this nation.”
The AgEC is a broad membership-based consortium of organizations and companies representing the entire spectrum of clean, renewable energy and bioproducts stakeholders. It includes members focused on biofeedstock production and conversion technologies, rural economic development and diversification, biofuel and renewable electricity production, biobased products, environmental protection, and others. Coalition members are committed to seeing a strong bi-partisan energy title in the 2012 farm bill that builds on the tremendous clean energy accomplishments USDA has already realized and provides resources to USDA at a level that enables them to continue and expand this important mission.