Letters fly in support of energy title programs in Farm Bill

By Holly Jessen | November 06, 2013

In the past week, three separate letters have been sent to the ag committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, urging support for the farm bill’s energy title programs.

The first letter was sent Nov. 1 by a group of 30 members of Congress to Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Reps. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Collin Peterson, D-Minn., the chairpersons and ranking members of the two committees. “Passage of a five-year farm bill is vital to give our farmers and ranchers the long-term certainty they need to remain the most productive in the world,” the letter said, pointing to the importance of programs like the Rural Energy for America program, the Biomass Crop Assistance Program and the Biorefinery Assistance program.

On Nov. 4, two more letters were sent. One was from 14 senators and urged Stabenow and Cochran to “advocate vigorously for the adoption of the Senate’s energy title, particularly the full $900 million in mandatory funding for its ‘core’ programs.”  The letter went on to say that, “farm energy programs serve agriculture, rural communities and the entire nation by providing jobs, farm income and environmental benefits.”

The other letter was signed by more than 100 organizations, led by the Agriculture Energy Coalition, with 25x25 and the Environmental Law and Policy Center. Other groups that signed on include the American Soybean Association, the American Coalition for Ethanol, the Biomass Power Association and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. The letter said a well-funded and strong energy title is vital to the growth of industries such as biofuels, renewable energy renewable chemicals and more. “These important and growing industries all benefit agriculture and forestry and are poised to make huge contributions to our economic, environmental and national security in the coming years, provided that we maintain stable policies that support clean energy manufacturing and innovation,” the letter said.



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