Support the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels

By Erin Voegele | August 07, 2012

A dozen pellet producers were awarded funding under the USDA’s Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels in July. The program, established by the 2008 Farm Bill, makes payments to eligible biofuel producers based on the amount of biofuels that are produced. While the program is most often associated with liquid biofuel production, companies producing biobased pellets may also be eligible.

Funding awarded to pellet producers through the program can obviously benefit the bottom line. The additional funding may allow these solid biofuel manufacturers to price their goods at more competitive price, support additional employees, or provide additional income to help fund improvements or expansions. No matter how the funding is used, the program is obviously beneficial qualified pellet producers.

Some of the pellet companies that were awarded payments through this round of funding include, Somerset Hardwood Flooring, Southern Kentucky Pellet Mill Inc., Geneva Wood Fuels LLC, Main Wood Pellets Co. LLC, Northeast Pellets LLC, New England Wood Pellets LLC, Mt. Taylor Machine LLC, Hassell & Hughes, Potomac Supply Corp., VT Wood Pellet Co., Marth Peshtigo Pellet Co. LLC, and Marth Wood Shaving Supply Inc. Additional pellet producers may have also received funding. However, the USDA does not release the names of companies that received less than $500 in payments.

As federal lawmakers continue to develop the next Farm Bill, Energy Title programs—including this one—may be in jeopardy. While indications are that the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels could be maintained in a final version of the next Farm Bill, that is certainly no guarantee that the program will be funded. Unless the programs are assigned mandatory funding, it is possible that the programs could technically be on the books, but lack the funding necessary to operate.

The Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels is lending important support to U.S. pellet manufacturers. I encourage you to reach out to your local Senators and Representatives, and stress the importance of maintaining—and funding—Farm Bill Energy Title programs.