House Committee Discusses Energy

The House Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry recently held hearings to discuss energy programs and their role in the upcoming farm bill, with supporters urging the House to reauthorize energy programs, particularly biodiesel programs, and provide mandatory energy funding.

With the Senate farm bill likely only weeks away from debate (and probable passage), agricultural attention now turns to the House of Representatives. The House Agriculture Committee, headed by Oklahoma Representative Frank Lucas, has not yet passed their version of the farm bill and, with the clock slowly ticking to the September 30 expiration, farmers across the country are growing anxious.

The most recent House Agriculture Committee meeting focused on the energy subcommittee and featured agricultural leaders urging the House to continue the energy measures contained in the current farm bill.

“American agriculture is the key to the successful development and commercialization of clean, abundant, renewable, domestic energy and biobased products in this country, and the ‘core’ Farm Bill energy programs provide American farmers, ranchers and entrepreneurs with the tools they need to make it happen,” said the head of the Agriculture Energy Coalition.

With major House Republicans like Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan eager to expand agricultural cuts well beyond the Senate’s proposed $24 billion, however, the fate of energy programs is currently uncertain.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer