WASHINGTON--()--The Agriculture Energy Coalition (AgEC) today wrote House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), urging them to schedule debate on HR 6083, the Farm Bill passed by the House Committee on Agriculture in July and reported to the House last week.
“There’s no reason to pass on an easy opportunity to create American jobs, increase domestically made fuel and promote our national security. We urge the House to follow the Senate’s lead and pass a comprehensive farm bill.”
“The certainty provided by a five-year Farm Bill is particularly valuable to farmers, business owners, and investors with an interest in rural energy initiatives,” the letter states. “Inaction by the House on H.R. 6083 will introduce a grave level of uncertainty to a growing segment of the U.S. economy, deterring private sector investments and threatening good paying jobs,” it concludes.
The letter also points out that “thanks to wise, bipartisan support and mandatory funding for rural energy programs in the 2008 Farm Bill, the nation’s first six advanced biofuels biorefineries are now under construction; farmers are earning extra income by raising next generation energy crops on 150,000 acres of underutilized farmland in over 150 counties; companies are using plant technologies to make renewable chemicals and biobased products; and farm families are saving money because they have improved energy efficiency and/or power on their farms through the use of wind, solar, geothermal, and anaerobic digestion technologies.”
Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, stated, “Not passing a farm bill now will make it more difficult to get something done in the lame duck session. Farmers need certainty, and without a farm bill in place we lose that certainty. Without action on the farm bill, vital energy programs will expire on September 30, 2012. The 2008 Farm Bill was passed with bipartisan support in for the energy title and its goal of energy security. Congress has not let the Farm Bill expire since 1973.”
“American-made renewable energy is one of the bright spots in our economy. It has created 400,000 jobs for hard-working men and women – and advanced biofuels has the potential to create 800,000 more,” Adam Monroe, President of Novozymes North America, said. “There’s no reason to pass on an easy opportunity to create American jobs, increase domestically made fuel and promote our national security. We urge the House to follow the Senate’s lead and pass a comprehensive farm bill.”
“The partnership between biofuels and farm policy is a direct one which provides the opportunity for rural development and economic and energy security. We believe the Senate-passed Farm Bill is a near-term priority which would provide all these benefits and strongly urge its passage,” added Michael McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association.
The AgEC is a broad membership-based consortium of organizations and companies representing the entire spectrum of clean, renewable energy and bioproducts stakeholders. It includes members focused on biofeedstock production and conversion technologies, rural economic development and diversification, biofuel and renewable electricity production, biobased products, environmental protection, and others. Coalition members are committed to seeing a strong bi-partisan energy title in the 2012 farm bill that builds on the tremendous clean energy accomplishments USDA has already realized and provides resources to USDA at a level that enables them to continue and expand this important mission.