FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2012
BTEC Welcomes Mandatory Funding for 2012 Farm Bill Energy Title, Encourages Additional Thermal Programs
Amendment from Senators Lugar and Conrad restores mandatory funding for several biomass thermal-eligible programs
WASHINGTON, April 27, 2012 - The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) today expressed supportive comments on the Senate Committee on Agriculture's mark-up of the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012, more commonly known as the 2012 Farm Bill. The legislation reported out of the committee contains mandatory renewable energy program funding, including the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
"BTEC welcomes the Senate Committee on Agriculture's recognition and support of renewable energy from our nation's farms and forests," said Joseph Seymour, BTEC Executive Director. "Previous Farm Bill programs have successfully accelerated deployment of advanced biomass thermal technologies and fuels to rural communities and agricultural businesses, where they've reduced energy costs, leveraged private investment, and created jobs."
The major action that the Committee took yesterday was to restore mandatory funding to a suite of programs in the legislation's Energy Title. Specifically, the Committee approved an amendment by Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Dick Lugar (R-IN) that provides roughly $800 million spread across such programs as the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), the Biomass Research and Developments Initiative (BRDI), the Biobased Market Program, the Biorefinery Assistance Program, and the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). Regarding the latter, specific directives are included to guide the flow of funds under matching payment portion of the program. Language in the amendment specifies that at least 10 percent but less than 50 percent of available funds must be spent on the Collection, Harvest, Storage, and Transportation (CHST) portion of BCAP and there are provisions limiting eligibility of biomass for which there are existing markets.
"As the bill moves forward, BTEC will continue to work with its members and allies to promote renewable and sustainable energy solutions for urban and rural communities alike, and the clean fuels and technologies they rely on," Seymour added.
More information on the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 can be found here >>.
About the Biomass Thermal Energy Council
The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) is an association of biomass fuel producers, appliance manufacturers and distributors, supply chain companies and non-profit organizations that view biomass thermal energy as a renewable, responsible, clean and energy-efficient pathway to meeting America's energy needs. BTEC engages in research, education, and public advocacy for the fast growing biomass thermal energy industry. For more information, visit www.biomassthermal.org.