Senators Pleased With Energy Title of Farm Bill

Cindy Zimmerman

Tom HarkinTwo of the main architects of the new Farm Bill are more than thrilled with overwhelming passage of the legislation this week by both the House and Senate.

“Senate passage of the farm bill conference report on a strong, bipartisan basis demonstrates support for core farm bill initiatives – conservation, energy, nutrition and rural development – while continuing and strengthening farm income protection,” said Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA).

Harkin says the bill increases biofuels production by accelerating commercialization of advanced biofuels, like cellulosic ethanol, by helping farmers produce biomass crops, by providing grants and loan guarantees for new biorefineries, and by increasing bioenergy research.

Saxby ChamblissSenate Ag Ranking Republican Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said of the bill, “We’re going to make sure that we provide future generations with alternative energy projects and that we do it in the right way.”

The Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act of 2008 passed the House by a 75 percent margin and the Senate vote was 81 to 15. However, President Bush intends to veto the bill because he says it is too costly and contains too little reform. The margin of votes in Congress indicate that they will be able to override the veto.

Biodiesel, Energy, Ethanol, Government, News