The Farm Bill Energy Title Is Working and Must Be Renewed
by Brent Erickson (BIO/Biofuels Digest) Ten years ago, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law a Farm Bill that, for the first time, embraced the vital role American farmers, foresters and rural communities must play in achieving U.S. energy security. Congress and the President fully recognized that domestic renewable energy production and biobased product manufacturing are necessities for national security and rural economic prosperity. The 2002 Farm Bill created an R&D program to support biorefinery development and a federal purchasing program to lead market pull for biobased products.
Six years after, almost to the day, Congress adopted and President Bush signed another Farm Bill that sought to hasten the commercial development of advanced biofuels and biomanufacturing. The bill moved beyond R&D grants to support farmers in creating a value chain for new purpose-grown energy crops, start-up company executives raising capital for first-of-a-kind large-scale energy projects, and manufacturers opening traditional markets to new products.
…Overall, Farm Bill energy programs have produced a high rate of return for the American taxpayer. READ MORE