There are more proposals to be debated as the US Farm Bill 2007 gets closer to enactment, according to 25×25, a US pro-biofuel pressure group.
The US house of representative has agreed a proposal, which is different from proposals from Senator Jim Harkin in the Senate.
The house’s agreed position looks like this, acording to 25×25
House Farm Bill Energy Title Addresses 25x?25 Goals
Meanwhile, the House farm bill?s energy title addresses many of the goals listed in The 25x?25 Action Plan: Charting America?s Energy Future, a set of 35 policy recommendations developed by the 25x?25 National Steering Committee in February to help insure a renewable energy future. The Action Plan calls for annual spending under the farm bill energy title to increase by $1 billion, including $250 million for the Section 9006 program.
The House bill increases the loan guarantee level in the 9006 program from $10 million level to $25 million, and provides $115 million over five years for the program. The House bill also provides up to $2 billion for loan guarantees of up to ninety percent of loans used to help pay for development, construction and retrofitting of biorefineries and biofuel production plants to demonstrate the commercial viability of converting biomass to fuels or chemicals. The House measure reauthorizes Section 9008 biomass research and development programs as recommended in the Action Plan, but provides no new money. The Action Plan would increase to $300 million the annual authorization for Section 9010, which reimburses ethanol and biodiesel producers for the purchase of commodities to expand existing production. While the House bill would authorize no new money, it does add the cost of cellulolic feedstocks as eligible for reimbursement under 9010.
In addition the House bill authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to work with other Federal agencies and universities to conduct a competitive research and development program (including grants, and cooperative agreements) to encourage new forest to energy technologies. It alsoestablishes a biomass energy reserve (BER) and provides financial and technical assistance to landowners and operators to produce energy crops and harvest, store, and transport cellulosic material.
The House bill reauthorizes the Sun Grant Initiative, which provides money for research of, among other things, the development of regional-scale agronomic production systems for energy feedstocks.
Another 25x?25 Action Plan recommendation incorporated into the House farm bill energy title includes a provision directing the secretaries of Agriculture and Energy to conduct a study of comprehensive infrastructure needs for the renewable fuels sector, including ethanol and pipeline needs and feasibility, and recommend needed action to ensure delivery of renewable fuels and feedstocks to the market. The House bill authorizes $1 million for the study.