WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The Agriculture Energy Coalition (AgEC) today thanked Reps. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) for requesting “that conferees consider the importance of the energy title, which supports diverse energy programs, and provide the necessary investments for program success” during any conference of the varying House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill. Reps. Reichert and Van Hollen made this request in a letter to House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).
“that conferees consider the importance of the energy title, which supports diverse energy programs, and provide the necessary investments for program success”
Reps. Reichert and Van Hollen write, “While we understand the difficult task you face of meeting budget constraints, we emphasize the importance of these bipartisan energy investments, which represent an important and growing component of the agricultural economy. Again, in order for these programs to be successful, we strongly encourage the necessary investment in the energy title to be included within the conference agreement and appreciate your consideration of this request.”
The Senate-passed version of the Farm Bill differs from the House-passed version by providing nearly $900 million in mandatory funding for USDA energy programs in addition to discretionary funding.
Lloyd Ritter, co-director of the Coalition, added, “The Farm Bill Energy Title programs help grow the agricultural economy by opening access to critical project capital, ensuring that investments continue to be made in rural energy development. These investments in energy efficiency projects and renewable energy systems provide energy security, environmental benefits, and economic growth opportunities to the entire United States, including stable, well-paying employment opportunities. Reauthorization and robust mandatory funding of these programs over the next five years will build upon that success. We thank Representatives Reichert and Van Hollen and echo their request to the Agriculture Committee leadership.”
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.