Farm Bill energy programs have helped innovative companies unlock private capital for construction of advanced biofuel biorefineries, supported farmers who put more than 150,000 acres of underutilized farmland into production of next generation energy crops, and aided rural communities create new markets that can reduce the need for direct payments to farmers for commodity crops. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today joined 100 renewable energy, energy efficiency, farm, ranch, commodity, environmental, and other groups in a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees asking for reauthorization and funding of Farm Bill energy title programs.
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, said, “Congress can’t afford to wait to boost commercialization of advanced biofuels and revitalize rural America. A strong energy title in the farm bill can do this and help new agricultural markets emerge and reduce the need for direct payments to farmers. Thanks to the energy title in past farm bills, advanced biofuel, biobased product and renewable chemical biorefineries are being developed across the United States.
“The bio-based products industry already employs more than 100,000 people, according to an Iowa State CIRAS study. A reauthorized energy title will help continue the growth of good permanent jobs in manufacturing, agricultural production and forestry, and biotechnology.”