In the Senate Agriculture Committee markup of the 2012 Farm Bill on Thursday, an amendment was added to reauthorize mandatory funding for several national renewable energy programs.
Renewable fuel organizations praised the action. “There is no more urgent need in this country today than creating new jobs and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. The programs reauthorized and streamlined today are doing just that, and will continue to help the United States create jobs and replace foreign oil with homegrown, renewable energy production when signed into law,” said a statement from the Advanced Ethanol Council, which represents a number of companies working to commercialize advanced biofuels.
The Agriculture Energy Coalition noted that passage in the Senate committee was an important hurdle, but energy funding still has a long road ahead. “The Coalition will continue its work throughout the process to ensure the bill and energy title move forward and that energy programs continue to receive appropriate mandatory funding.”
“We commend the great work of the Committee to spur additional energy production in rural America,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “I specifically want to thank Senators Conrad and Lugar for offering a solid, bipartisan amendment that will provide key resources to rural energy programs such as loan guarantees for on-farm renewable energy, energy-efficiency projects, and research and development for advanced biofuels.”
The committee restored some $800 million for programs such as REAP, BCAP, and Biorefinery Assistance, which were created by the 2008 farm bill.