Farm Bill energy programs are helping revitalize rural America and build new agricultural markets; funding for these programs will continue their record of success. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today thanked Sens. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) for their amendment to improve the 2012 Farm Bill by providing mandatory funding for energy title programs.
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, said, “The Farm Bill’s energy programs have had a tremendous positive impact in revitalizing rural America and helping new agricultural markets emerge. These programs have helped clear the path for companies to secure financing to build innovative biorefineries that will reduce our reliance on imported oil. They already have helped farmers put more than 150,000 acres of underutilized farmland into production of next-generation energy crops. And they’ve sped the development of biomanufacturing innovation, demonstration and early commercialization. In the short time that these programs have operated, they’ve achieved a high rate of return in supporting the start up of renewable chemical, advanced biofuel and biomanufacturing companies, as a timeline of the programs demonstrates.
“We applaud the leadership of Senators Lugar and Conrad and the numerous co-sponsors of the amendment, which ensures that meaningful mandatory funding is available for these valuable energy programs.”