Farm Bill Invests in Advanced Biofuels and Non-Food Feedstocks
Friday, February 7, 2014
By Michael McAdams
The Farm Bill that President Obama will sign today represents a major victory for ABFA and the advanced biofuels industry. After years of partisan wrangling, the law includes $881 million for programs designed to encourage additional production capacity for advanced biofuels and stimulate development of new energy crops and non-food feedstocks. Just as importantly, these initiatives will help create jobs and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. It’s nice to have a little good news while we wait patiently for the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider the devastating cuts proposed for advanced and cellulosic biofuels under the 2014 renewable fuel standards!
Here is a quick rundown of the Farm Bill’s major Energy Title programs impacting the biofuels industry (all years indicated are Fiscal Years):
9002. Biobased Markets Program
This program promotes the increased purchase and use of biobased products.
9003. Biorefinery Assistance Program
This program is being renamed to the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program and loan guarantee availability is extended to the development and construction of renewable chemical and biobased product manufacturing plants.
9004. Repowering Assistance Program
The program encourages the use of renewable biomass as a replacement fuel source for fossil fuels used to provide process heat or power in the operation of eligible biorefineries.
9005. Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels
The program provides payments to eligible producers to support and expand production of advanced biofuels.
9007. Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
REAP encourages the commercial financing of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
9008. Biomass Research and Development Initative
This program provides grant funding for projects addressing research, development, and demonstration of biofuels and biobased projects and the methods, practices, and technologies for their production.
9009. Feedstock Flexibility Program for Bioenergy Producers
This program encourages the domestic production of biofuels from surplus sugar.
9010. Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP)
BCAP encourages the production of biofuels by providing financial assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and non-industrial private forest land who wish to establish, produce, and deliver biomass feedstocks.
12305. Noninsured Crop Assistance Program (NAP)
NAP provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or prevented planting occur due to a natural disaster. New language redefines industrial crops as “sweet sorghum, biomass sorghum, and industrial crops, including those grown expressly for the purpose of producing a feedstock for renewable biofuel, renewable electricity, or biobased products.”