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

Despite 2013 Challenges, U.S. Wind Power Reaches All-Time Low Price

In a new report, the U.S. Department of Energy details the highs and lows of the country's wind industry last year, and the agency maintains that the U.S. sector remains strong.


Mexico On Pace To Set New Renewables Investment Record

A new report says the country has spent $1.3 billion on clean energy in the first half of 2014 and could end up seeing a record year. Furthermore, wind power is slated for significant growth in the region.


IRS Issues More PTC Guidance, Easing Some Wind Industry Concerns

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) addresses how much work is needed on a wind farm to satisfy production tax credit (PTC) eligibility.


Embryonic No More: U.S. Offshore Wind Industry Gaining Momentum

After a decade of fits and starts, the industry is moving closer to installing the first generation of wind projects off the country's shores.


AWEA: U.S. Installs 853 MW Of Wind In First Half Of 2014

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reveals the U.S. industry's progress thus far this year and underscores the importance of policy certainty.

Canwea_id1984
Renewable NRG_id1934
Tower Conference_id1965