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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
Mandatory $3M per year 2014-2018

This program promotes the increased purchase and use of biobased products.

9003. Biorefinery Assistance Program
Mandatory $100M for 2014, $50M for 2015, $50M for 2016

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
Mandatory $12M for 2014

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
Mandatory $15M for 2014 -2018

The program provides payments to eligible producers to support and expand production of advanced biofuels.

9007. Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
Mandatory $50M per year to total $500M

REAP encourages the commercial financing of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

9008. Biomass Research and Development Initative
Mandatory $3M per year 2014-2017

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
Extended through 2018

This program encourages the domestic production of biofuels from surplus sugar.

9010. Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP)
Mandatory $25M for 2014-2018

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.”

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