Ag Energy Coalition joins groups calling for Farm Bill passage
The Agriculture Energy Coalition has joined 235 farming, livestock, rural development, nutrition, conservation and renewable energy organizations in sending a letter to leaders of the House of Representatives requesting passage of a new five-year Farm Bill before the end of the 112th Congress.
“Expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill already has created economic uncertainty for U.S. renewable energy companies, threatening to stop the growth of a vital segment of the U.S. economy, strand private sector investments and eliminate good paying jobs,” said Lloyd Ritter, AgEC co-director. “A five-year extension of the Farm Bill with mandatory funding for the energy title is needed to keep these companies investing and creating jobs in the United States; a temporary extension of the already expired legislation would not provide certainty for businesses.”
“The success of the energy programs in the Farm Bill is evident,” Ritter continued. “U.S. companies have raised private financing to start construction of advanced biofuel biorefineries; farmers in more than 150 counties across the nation have begun raising and harvesting next generation energy crops on 150,000 acres of underutilized farmland; rural families are saving money through energy efficiency and/or renewable power generation on their farms through the use of wind, solar, geothermal, and anaerobic digestion technologies; and nearly 100,000 people are now employed in the rapidly growing biobased products market. This progress is at risk if Congress fails to complete the bipartisan Farm Bill legislation that has already passed the Senate and been voted out of the House Committee on Agriculture.”