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Summary:

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the controversial 2007 Farm Bill on Friday. The five-year farm bill, which is projected to cost over $280 billion, includes $2.4 billion set aside for clean energy, which is allocated for wind and solar power, energy efficiency, and biofuels. There […]

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the controversial 2007 Farm Bill on Friday. The five-year farm bill, which is projected to cost over $280 billion, includes $2.4 billion set aside for clean energy, which is allocated for wind and solar power, energy efficiency, and biofuels.

There has been much debate over tax measures and subsidies in the bill as well as who should benefit from the funds. The Senate will look at the bill later this year, but the bill is a step closer to easing some financial fears held by farmers growing biofuel crops, who have been concerned about rising corn and soy prices. Though, some say the bill doesn’t go far enough.

The last Farm Bill, which was passed in 2002 and expires on Sept. 30, 2007, set aside $23 million per year for energy projects, says Andy Olsen, senior policy advocate with the Environmental Law & Policy Center. Olson calls the 2007 Farm Bill a “great step forward to increase the commitment to farm-based energy.”

CNNMoney.com breaks down the clean energy spending in the bill:

  • $2.17 billion for the Renewable Energy and Efficiency loan guarantee program
  • $500 million in grants under the same program
  • $100 million to help share the cost of developing crops for non-corn-based ethanol production
  • $18 million toward expanding markets for those products.
  • $150 million for cellulosic ethanol research grants and another
  • $500 million for university-level bioenergy research.

But the $2 billion and change isn’t enough to ease all concerns. Some advocacy groups have called for as much as $5 billion over the next five years.

“Five year funding still short of need,” notes a release we received from the Environmental Law & Policy Center. John Moore, the Center’s staff attorney, said to us in an e-mail that:

Total energy spending is still a small fraction of total farm bill spending – still under 1% of the five year budget. That’s why we’re urging the Senate to invest in $1 billion a year over the next five years — John Moore, Environmental Law & Policy Center

(For a quick overview of the history of the bill and its issues, check out “A Fair Farm Bill for Renewable Energy,” a paper drafted by The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.)

“I think it’s a start, he was looking to get $5 billion, they got $2.4. But renewable energy is certainly a priority, or at least it should be,” said Ryan Wolf, who owns a Leseur, Minnesota-based wind farm. His family’s farm Wolf Wind Enterprises received grant funds from the
9006 Farm Security and Rural Investment Act
, which was part of the 2002 Farm Bill.
wind.jpg


Wolfe and his father Mike Wolf stand in front of a wind turbine in Minnesota

The 2007 Farm Bill also creates several new programs and expands pre-existing ones, including:

  • The Rural Energy for America Program: “expands and improves the Farm Bill’s renewable energy/energy efficiency incentives for locally-owned wind power, energy efficiency, solar energy, and other clean energy projects.”
  • Biorefinery expansion: “critical to jumpstart advanced biofuels production.”
  • Biomass research and development: “new research investments for advanced crop-based fuel and power expansion.
  • Biomass energy reserve: “will catalyze sustainable development of energy crops to hep meet our nation’s fuel needs and reduce reliance on imported oil.”
  1. It is very good in reading that The U.S. House of Representatives passed the controversial 2007 Farm Bill.I found one of the website which is giving information about energy.

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  2. It is very good in reading that The U.S. House of Representatives passed the controversial 2007 Farm Bill.I found one of the website which is giving information about energy.

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  3. [...] because many farmers are now turning to energy crops, the Farm Bill has also become a focus for renewable energy [...]

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  4. Dear Sir,
    I undersign Mr.Susilo.Yudodiharjo as the President Director of PT.Bumi Harum Sejahjtera have the legalize office at Jakarta + Malang City of East Java Province of Indonesia.

    Now I am in Malang City to set up the Solar Cell Photovoltaic Project in order to backup the Clean sustainable & renewable energy subject comfirmed with the Koyto Protocol clean energy development machanism and your program of Reducing Pority, improving life Motto.

    The project will be consist of :

    1. 2.000 Families for electric basic need and to be implemented by the Sosial Wellfare grant program releive with 500 Wp each house hold =total 1 MW inclung for Solar Road Lighting and Solar Waterpumping for human driking, small irrigation etc that located at 26 Rural on 24 Village under 10 district at Malang Regency that no electrict utility on gird availables.

    2. 100.000 set @ 500 WP total 50 MW that located at 131 Rural on 49 District at 13 Regency of East Java with the program out side of Malang Regency mentioned above and to be set up with the Sosial Wellfare Program relieves by the Governor of East java to the citizen.

    The main Problem is both Malang Head Regency and or the Governor of East Java not have enough money to realize the program, and we as the private NGO ( Non Government Organization) will acking the supplier to both local govenmental to assist the implementation provided they have enough budgeting.

    Please kindly advised the following questionaries :

    1. How we can do to get the Grant from the Grant Maker ?
      And who is the Name & fully address of the Grant
      Maker ?

    2. How can we apply to you indorer to get the :

      2.1. Green House gases financial assistances.

      2.2. Buyer Export Credit Facilities with the Tennor arrond
      of 10 years, interrest and Principal Repayment as
      can be done with Semi annual payment basis, and
      shall be due by the East Java Development Bank
      owned by the both local govenment. In these case
      the both Government available prepare 10 – 20% as
      the self Financing.

      2.3. When will IFC open the Representative in
      Indonesia ?

    Thus ended, your soonest responsonsive are highly appreceated.

    Best Regards

    PT. Bumi Harum Sejahtera

    Susilo.Yudodiharjo
    President Director
    HP.62.813.8795.8936

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  5. It’s always great to read about progress in the ways of clean and renewable energy sources. Gas prices keep rising and rising and pollution seems to be keeping up with the prices, so its good to hear that the government is actually finally starting to listen.

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