WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Agriculture Energy Coalition today expressed support for legislation introduced by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to reauthorize Farm Bill Energy Title programs and provide robust mandatory funding. The Coalition also thanked Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), William Cowan (D-Mass.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and other original co-sponsors of the legislation, which would provide more than $1 billion in mandatory funding for renewable energy programs.
“Continued growth in new agriculture, manufacturing, and high tech jobs are at great risk without continued Federal investment.”
Last week, the Agriculture Energy Coalition joined more than 100 national, state and regional organizations in a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, urging them to adopt a new Farm Bill with robust mandatory funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. The letter noted, “Continued growth in new agriculture, manufacturing, and high tech jobs are at great risk without continued Federal investment.”
Lloyd Ritter, co-director of the Coalition, said, “We agree with Sen. Franken and other co-sponsors of this legislation that investments in energy efficiency projects and renewable energy systems in rural areas of the United States provide very significant energy security, economic, and environmental benefits to the entire United States, including stable, well-paying employment opportunities. The U.S. agricultural and forestry sectors offer significant potential for production of renewable energy and its economic and environmental benefits.”
The AgEC is a broad membership-based consortium of organizations and companies representing a broad spectrum of clean, renewable energy, energy efficiency and bioproducts stakeholders. It includes members focused on feedstock production and conversion technologies, rural economic development and diversification, biofuels, products and power, and renewable electricity production, environmental quality, 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.