House Strips Funding for Rural Energy Program

Earlier this month, the House of Representative’s Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee stripped federal funding from the Rural Energy for Americans Program, known as REAP. REAP was created in 20003 through the consolidation of various U.S. Department of Agriculture rural energy programs. In addition to this consolidation, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 increased funding for rural energy and created several grants to encourage the creation of renewable energy systems and authorized loans for the purpose of promoting green energy.

Green energy groups are up in arms about this latest budget cut. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has argued that REAP has significantly benefited the Southeastern United States. REAP, they claim, helps create clean energy jobs, which greatly benefit the local community, and stimulate private investment. $17 million in REAP grants, they argue, has generated over $50 million in private investment in the Southeast. Clean energy groups argue that removing REAP funding will halt economic recovery and will undercut efforts at creating renewable energy systems in the U.S.

While the appropriations bill has not passed the House, it is expected to do so shortly. However, many believe that the bill will not pass the Senate. Senators from agricultural states have already begun mobilizing opposition to the bill. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) is circulating a letter urging colleagues to preserve REAP funding.

To learn more about agricultural financing opportunities contact a Farm Plus Financial representative by calling 866-929-5585 or by visiting .

Follow us on: Twitter

Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer