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.”


Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Yearly Installed Capacity Figures Already Beat 2013 Numbers, More Wind On The Way: AWEA

While the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) lobbies Congress to extend the production tax credit, the association notes wind projects now under construction signal a vibrant 2015.


Yahoo Inks Contract To Buy Kansas Wind Power

The Internet company plans to log in to the Alexander wind project, which is being built by community developer OwnEnergy.


Could Initial Offshore Wind Projects Crash New England's REC Market?

Some are concerned that the first offshore wind projects could negatively impact pricing of renewable energy credits (RECs) in New England.


Catching Up With The DOE's Down-Select Offshore Winners

The three recipients of key U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding provide updates on their offshore wind demonstration projects.


Texas Comptroller Attacks Wind Power, And Industry Fights Back

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs recently released a report calling for an end to wind power subsidies. The Wind Coalition has responded, saying the report is riddled with misinformation.

Renewable NRG_id1934
Canwea_id1984