An Expired Farm Bill, New Pellet Plants and Rebate Incentives

By Erin Voegele | October 01, 2012

It is now Oct. 1. That means the Farm Bill has officially expired. Not a surprise, but a disappointment nonetheless.

Whether our federal lawmakers take up the legislation during the upcoming lame duck session, or hold off until after the new crop of elected officials takes office, I hope our congressional representatives realize the benefit that a strong energy title brings to the U.S. manufacturing sector. Programs like the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, in particular, can provide valuable support to the expansion of the U.S. pellet industry.

Although the fate of Farm Bill energy title programs is currently uncertain, the U.S. pellet industry is marching forward. In the past few weeks, several new pellet plants have been announced. Enova Energy Group is constructing three new pellet plants, all located within Georgia and South Carolina. In addition, General Biofuels Georgia LLC has plans to construct a pellet plant in Sandersville, Ga.

It seems that the wood pellets produced at all four plants will be exported to Europe. While these projects are an exciting addition to the U.S. biomass industry no matter where the pellets are utilized, I do hope that U.S. demand for wood pellets will continue to grow. Hopefully it won’t be too long before projects like these pop up with the primary goal of meeting domestic demand for pellet fuels.

In the meantime, a couple of local rebate programs could help build some regional demand for wood pellets in the near term. The Maryland Energy Administration recently launched a pilot rebate program for pellet and wood stoves. Eligible applicants can receive up to $600 to support the installation of U.S. EPA certified pellet stoves that emit no more than 2 grams of particulates per hour. Meanwhile, in California, a program developed by the County of Marin and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District is offering eligible residents of the San Geronimo Valley region up to $750 rebate to remove a non-certified wood stove with certified wood stoves, pellet stoves or propane appliances.

If these rebate programs prove successful in incentivizing the installation of certified pellet stoves, hopefully more states, counties and municipalities will consider enacting their own rebate incentives.



2 Responses

  1. PowerOfChoice



    The Senate Farm Bill should NOT be passed with this section still added: SEC. 12211. DEFINITION OF RURAL AREA FOR PURPOSES OF THE HOUSING ACT OF 1949 would increase the pool of recipients and also increased rural community population requirement to 35,000. This population level would be a small City not a true rural community. Also, changing the Census date to 2020 insures those who have already received fair share of benefits over past years and now self-sufficient to continue receiving such benefits. That is the purpose of rural programs to help very small struggling communities grow and become self-sufficient, not to become a Welfare System for self-sufficient communities who have already received past benefits wanting more. This section in the Senate Farm Bill and also appearing in other bills such as House Bill H.R. 273 is a potential Legislative Back Scratching just for the purpose of continuing to feed funding to self sufficient city governments. What our government has been doing since after 1990 is “grandfathering” communities who are no longer rural and allowing them to continue to stick their fingers in the rural money pie, which in turn means less money for those in desperate need who may not have running water, proper sanitation services, decent housing, etc. This is ABUSE of all our TAX DOLLARS for the last 20+ years. Again, we are 16+ Trillion in debt and this contributes to the problem with communities who no longer need or qualify receiving more. This adds to our debt instead of solving major problems in our country such as noted in this article: This website will automatically send letter(s) to your Congressman or Senators regarding legislation you are either for or against: This link will go to Senate Farm Bill: This link will go to H.R.273: Please become pro-active and include a link to the above article and inform Senators or Congressmen you want the rural money to help the true rural communities and not continue to line pockets of communities who are no longer supposed to be defined as rural. Also, there have been property right violations regarding a USDA program; therefore, why would our government officials want to add more communities to this entity without first fixing to prevent future Property Right violations against our citizens. You can also respond the same to the Committee on Financial Services (committee who will be conducting hearings on H.R. 273) at these links: It does not matter if you are Democrat, Republican, etc. what matters is We the People need to start banning together ourselves and stop Government Abuse and the scams harming the citizens regarding the use of OUR Tax Dollars. Any Farm Bill should only pertain to Farmer emergency situations to insure proper food supply for our Citizens and insure farmers have access to proper insurance same as any other business in our country, nothing more and nothing less.

  2. electedface



    Is the Farm Bill good or bad for America? Take the poll!

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