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Subcommittee Reviews Energy Title in Advance of the 2012 Farm Bill

Washington, DC, June 9, 2010

WASHINGTON - On June 9 2010, Congressman Tim Holden, D-Pa., Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy, and Research, held a hearing to review renewable energy and energy efficiency policies authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill as the Committee begins consideration of the next Farm Bill.

 

Liz Friedlander (202) 225-1564
Liz.Friedlander@mail.house.gov

James Ryder (202) 225-0020
James.Ryder@mail.house.gov

Today, Congressman Tim Holden, D-Pa., Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy, and Research, held a hearing to review renewable energy and energy efficiency policies authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill as the Committee begins consideration of the next Farm Bill.

The 2008 Farm Bill provided $1 billion dollars to fund programs that promote growth in the renewable energy industry and help rural small businesses invest in energy efficiency projects.

"The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 expanded existing renewable energy programs and introduced many new provisions intended to ensure that American agriculture will play an important role in moving this country toward energy independence,” said Subcommittee Chairman Tim Holden. “USDA has a successful history of providing support for these programs and should remain the leader in driving our renewable fuels industry.  That is why this hearing today was essential. It is important that we all work together to make sure the Farm Bill energy title programs are fully implemented as quickly as possible if we are to expand domestic production of renewable energy and decrease our dependence on foreign oil. Full implementation of these programs allows rural communities to survive, prosper, and become part of the energy solution."

"The 2008 Farm Bill expanded on the previous energy title by increasing funding for programs for the development of advanced biofuels, and created new policies that would advance next generation biofuels and reduce our reliance on corn ethanol as the only viable commercial biofuel.   However, it is unfortunate that two years after the adoption of the Farm Bill none of the major provisions in the title are operating under their final rules. USDA has paid out millions of dollars to programs that are not operating the way Congress intended. This is not the best use of taxpayers' dollars and this is not the way Congress intended to invest in the advancement of next generation biofuels," said Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte. 

Written testimony provided by the witnesses is available on the Committee website: http://democrats-agriculture.house.gov/hearings/index.html. A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website at a later date.

To receive updated schedule and news information from the House Agriculture, please visit the House Committee on Agriculture website to sign up for email updates: http://democrats-agriculture.house.gov/Eupdates/updates.html.

Witness List:

Panel I

Ms. Cheryl Cook, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Accompanied by:

Mr. Jonathan Coppess, Administrator, Farm Service Agency (FSA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Ms. Carmela Bailey, National Program Leader for Biobased Products and Bioenergy, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
 

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