Today, Growth Energy joined with our partner organizations in writing a letter to the US House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry addressing our commitment to renewable energy in the 2012 Farm Bill. The letter, which can be found in full below, was distributed to the offices of the leadership of both the committee and subcomittee:
May 18, 2012
Dear Chairman Lucas, Chairman Thompson, Ranking Member Peterson, and Ranking Member Holden:
On behalf of America’s ethanol industry and the farmers who support ethanol production, we write today in support of maintaining a robust commitment to renewable energy as the House Agriculture Committee considers the 2012 Farm Bill.
As you consider testimony during today’s hearing, we wanted to highlight how important energy production is to maintaining a vibrant farm economy. Started as a way to boost demand for farm products, the ethanol industry now represents 10 percent of the total U.S. vehicle fuel supply. As the U.S. ethanol industry has grown, so too has the economic footprint it creates. This economic activity has revitalized rural communities all across the country, and has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal economy over the past several years.
Expanding agri-energy should be a top priority in the 2012 Farm Bill. We strongly support the inclusion of an energy title in the Farm Bill the Committee is drafting – preferably one that builds off the successful approach to farm-based energy included in the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bill. Of most importance is a commitment to helping fulfill the promise of commercialized advanced ethanol fuels. The key components to that effort are an adequate level of resources and policy changes to aid the ongoing development of our industry.
As you know, our industry is developing technologies that will bring new types of ethanol to commercialization, helping existing biorefineries diversify their feedstock, improve production efficiency, and provide new economic growth opportunities for rural America. The next generation of ethanol production is just beginning to break ground on the first commercial projects across the country, and the continued commitment and funding of Energy Title programs will be critical to many existing and future advanced ethanol development projects.
We look forward to working with you to ensure that renewable energy plays a key role in the 2012 Farm Bill.
American Coalition for Ethanol
Renewable Fuels Association
Advanced Ethanol Council
National Farmers Union