PA Governor Creates Renewable Agricultural Energy Council

Chuck Zimmerman

Pennsylvania GrowsI’ve seen a lot of activity out of the state of Pennsylvania when it comes to news from their government. They’ve certainly made a committment to renewable fuels with programs like their Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program that’s part of their PAGrows Initiative.

Just this past week the Governor Edward G. Rendell created the Renewable Agricultural Energy Council, which is focused on developing and expanding agricultural energy industries in Pennsylvania. “Pennsylvania continues to look for innovative energy solutions,” Governor Rendell said. “That means looking for ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, encourage conservation, build and deploy clean energy technologies and build a diversified energy base.”

“Renewable agricultural energy has the potential to support and grow the agriculture industry in Pennsylvania by providing as many as 64,000 additional jobs,” the Governor said. “Additionally, renewable agricultural energy can help diversify agricultural activities and stimulate the growth of crops that strengthen the agriculture industry. It also has the potential to save consumers hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs.

“Agricultural energy sources can save the average household $1,200 annually on energy bills,” Governor Rendell said. “Such energy sources can also provide an additional source of income for farmers and increase the tax base, benefits that stretch beyond the farm.”

The secretaries of Agriculture and Environmental Protection will serve as co-chairs on a rotating yearly basis, with the secretary of Agriculture, Dennis Wolff, serving the first term. The Council will also be composed of a diverse group of individuals appointed by the Governor, including farmers utilizing renewable energy and those who work with agricultural energy.