in News Departments > Policy Watch
print the content item

In a 66 to 27 vote Monday, the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive farm bill that, among many other provisions, includes funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

REAP provides grants and loans to help rural businesses and agricultural producers invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives, including solar and small wind projects. The Senate-passed bill, which totals a whopping $955 billion over 10 years, includes $68.2 million in mandatory REAP funding and $20 million in appropriated REAP funding annually for fiscal years 2014 through 2018.

The U.S. House of Representatives is now tasked with taking on its own version of a farm bill, which passed in a committee in May - without REAP funding included. If the House floor passes the bill, the differences between the House and Senate versions will need to be ironed out.

Congress has not passed a farm bill since 2008. Last year, efforts to pass similar legislation failed, with the 2008 version being extended to Sept. 30.

Lloyd Ritter, co-director of the Agriculture Energy Coalition, has applauded the Senate for including REAP funding in its newest bill iteration.

“Farm bill renewable energy and energy efficiency programs have a solid track record in supporting growth in agriculture, manufacturing and new employment opportunities in rural America," Ritter said in a statement. "They ensure that critical investments are made in agriculture energy development, which brings energy security and environmental benefits to the entire United States. We urge the House of Representatives to include the same funding of farm bill energy programs in its version of the legislation.”


Helukabel_id1908
Latest Top Stories

Report Disputes U.S. Agency's Renewable Energy Projections

A new analysis from the Sun Day Campaign says renewables are slated to provide 16% of U.S. generating capacity by 2018 - over 20 years earlier than forecast by the Energy Information Administration.


Kansas Renewables Mandate Survives Yet Another Attack, But Is It Too Early To Celebrate?

Over the past three years, some legislators have tried to either weaken or repeal the state's renewable portfolio standard, which requires Kansas utilities to reach 20% renewables by 2020.


AWEA Highlights U.S. Wind Success Stories Of 2013

Despite a 92% drop in new capacity last year, the sector still has myriad reasons to celebrate, according to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association.


Feds List New Bird Species As Threatened - Should Wind Developers Be Worried?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. An expert explains how this might affect the wind industry.


Senate Committee Passes Bill With Two-Year PTC Extension

The Senate Finance Committee has voted on a tax extenders package, which includes both the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit, and sent it to the floor.

Acciona_id1907
UEA_id1896
JLG_id1900
WomenofWind_id
AWEA_id1886
bonfiglioli_id1913