WASHINGTON -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The House Appropriations Committee’s Fiscal Year 2015 Agriculture Appropriations Bill would reduce mandatory spending levels – agreed to earlier this year – for important Energy Title programs, including the Renewable Energy for America Program, Biomass Crop Assistance Program, and the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program. The Agriculture Energy Coalition (AgEC) today vowed to fight the changes to the farm bill’s popular energy programs going forward.
Lloyd Ritter, co-director of the AgEC, said, “The renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in the Farm Bill help rural America create new biobased manufacturing opportunities and stable, well-paying jobs. The Energy Title programs were reauthorized in the five-year Farm Bill adopted by Congress just months ago, in February 2014, and received mandatory funding to allow for program stability and business certainty. The modest investments made through that bill would pay major dividends for energy security, economic growth, and environmental gains across the United States.
“Just today, however, the House Appropriations Committee sought to roll back the Farm Bill, by targeting the successful energy title programs for changes in mandatory spending and blocking the USDA’s ability to administer them. The Agriculture Energy Coalition, which comprises a broad group of renewable energy, energy efficiency and agricultural groups, will continue to fight to ensure that these programs are implemented properly.”
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.