As Senate and House ag leaders work to craft farm bill recommendations – the Advanced Ethanol Council is asking that they consider extensions and smart modifications to a number of rural energy initiatives currently administered by USDA. In a recent letter – AEC Executive Director Brooke Coleman pressed lawmakers on three specific provisions – including USDA’s Loan Guarantee program for biorefinery projects, the Rural Energy for America Program – or REAP – and the Biomass Crop Assistance Program – BCAP.

First – Coleman would like to see the Loan Guarantee program extended – with provisions improved to more effectively facilitate participation by lending institutions. Second – Coleman would like support for USDA’s efforts to build out ethanol refueling infrastructure through REAP. Finally – Coleman seeks reform of BCAP to increase cost effectiveness and better encourage energy crop production for the advanced biofuel sector.

Coleman writes that the next generation of the U.S. ethanol industry is just beginning to break ground on commercial projects – and while the Energy Title currently accounts for less than one-percent of total budgetary outlays for the 2008 Farm Bill – many of these programs are critical to existing and future advanced ethanol development projects.

source: hoosieragtoday

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