Farm Bill Clean Energy Programs Survive “Cromnibus”
(FarmEnergy.org) The big news from our nation’s capital this past week has been the passage of the appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015, which began on October 1st. The federal government had been operating on funding extensions and was facing a deadline that risked another government shutdown. At this writing the bill has been passed that will fund government operations through the remainder of FY2015 and the President is expected to sign it.
The bad news is that some clean energy programs of the Farm Bill were cut, including the mandatory funding in the new Farm Bill approved by the same Congress just this past March.
The following table provides a summary of the funding changes. You can find a summary of 5-year program funding here. Note that “mandatory funding” refers to funding provided in the 2014 Farm Bill unless changed. When mandatory funding is cut, it’s referred to as a “CHIMP” or “Change in Mandatory Programs.” “Discretionary funding” refers to an appropriation made each year by Congressional appropriation committees.
Changes to Farm Bill Energy Title Programs in FY2015 “Cromnibus” Bill
All dollars in millions
|Section Number and Program Name
||2015 Mandatory Funding from Farm Bill
||Mandatory Funding Enacted
||Total FY2015 Funding
|9003 – Biorefinery Assistance
|9005 – Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels
|9007 – Rural Energy for America Program
|9010 – Biomass Crop Assistance Program
The additional $1.35 million in discretionary funding for REAP is restricted to only loan guarantees.
People and small businesses interested in seeking project funding from REAP should start gearing up. The FY2014 mandatory funding of $50 million and FY2015 funding will be released together, making for one of the largest funding solicitations in program history. The USDA is accepting applications now, and ELPC will let you know about the next funding notice, expected soon. READ MORE
Brazil’s Cosan Sees Brighter Future for Ethanol
(Reuters America Latina) Cosan SA, Brazil’s biggest producer of sugar and ethanol, said on Wednesday that two potential upsides in 2015 could brighten the outlook for the country’s ethanol sector, which has struggled with government policy in recent years.
Speaking before investors at Cosan Day in Sao Paulo, the president of Raizen, the company’s sugar, ethanol and bioenergy segment, Vasco Dias, said government policy could soon boost company returns.
“There are two potential upsides to the ethanol business that are not even expressed in our guidance,” said Dias.
First is the possible reintroduction of a tax on gasoline known as Cide, which would allow ethanol to regain some of the market share of the light-vehicle fuels market that it has lost in recent years, Dias said.
Additionally, Dias said the government could next year raise the ceiling of the blend range for ethanol in gasoline to 27.5 percent from the current ceiling of 25 percent, and in so doing raise demand for the biofuel. READ MORE