Dear Chairman Inouye and Ranking Member Cochran:
As the Senate debates fiscal year 2011 federal funding, the undersigned organizations write to urge your full support for farm bill energy programs.
In the coming months, Congress will begin review and debate regarding reauthorization of farm bill programs, including programs under the energy title. However, programs in the energy title are among the 37 programs that do not have baseline beyond the 2008 Farm Bill. These programs should be allowed to stand on their own performance and merits, but in order to do so they must receive funding to the maximum extent possible.
Now is not the time to downsize our energy security and economic independence goals. As Secretary Vilsack recently said in connection with the Administration’s continuing effort to increase clean energy development, “domestic production of renewable energy, including biofuels, is a national imperative . . . we will create jobs, combat global warming, replace our dependence on foreign oil and build a stronger foundation for the 21st century economy.”
While there are many excellent programs under your consideration with laudable goals, support for renewable energy production from America’s farms, ranches and forestlands has never been more critical as our country seeks greater economic security and energy independence.
We therefore urge you to keep intact the funding for 2008 Farm Bill energy title programs. Shifting this funding now, just as advanced biofuels refineries and other clean energy development projects are taking root, would thwart our nation’s economic and environmental goals and hurt rural economies.
We call upon your leadership to keep funding for these important programs intact.
American Coalition for Ethanol
American Forest Foundation
American Soybean Association
Biotechnology Industry Organization
Environmental Law and Policy Center
Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc
National Alliance of Forest Owners
National Association of Conservation Districts
National Association of State Foresters
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Biodiesel Board
National Corn Growers Association
National Farmers Union
National Sorghum Producers
Renewable Fuels Association