Rural Energy Investment Act Introduced

Several groups are expressing support for legislation introduced by Representatives Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and Bruce Braley of Iowa to provide robust mandatory funding in farm bill Energy Title programs. The legislation would provide more than a billion-dollars in mandatory funding over the next five years for renewable energy programs. Kaptur says the legislation would invest in programs with a proven track record of developing renewable American energy - which she notes is important to reducing our dependence on foreign oil and easing the pain at the pump. Braley says the Rural Energy Investment Act is a vision for the farm bill that ensures critical investments continue to be made in agriculture energy development - development that creates jobs all across America. He says these programs grow the economy and create demand for America's agriculture products.

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says America's farmers and ranchers are poised to lead the way into the low carbon economy. He says farm bill energy programs provide producers with the tools they need to harness the power of their land's natural resources. Agriculture Energy Coalition Co-Director Lloyd Ritter says investments in energy efficiency projects and renewable energy systems provide energy security, environmental benefits and economic growth opportunities to the entire U.S. Ritter notes farm bill programs have supported 66-hundred U.S. projects that employ 15-thousand people and generate or save more than 7.3-billion kilowatt hours of electricity. That's enough to power 680-thousand U.S. homes each year. He says reauthorization and robust funding of these programs will continue that success. According to Biotechnology Industry Organization President and CEO Jim Greenwood - reauthorization of USDA renewable energy programs with robust mandatory funding is essential to America's rural economy. Greenwood says continuation of these effective programs will help U.S. companies continue to commercialize innovative biotech processes and create high-quality rural jobs.

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