ELPC is working with local, state and federal leaders to implement the Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, a part of the federal Farm Bill that provides grants and loan guarantees to farmers and rural small business owners who install clean energy projects. ELPC works to advance REAP because it focuses on clean energy diversification and independence, rural economic development, job creation, and improved environmental quality for all Americans. Part of our work involves technical outreach for state energy and agriculture officials and key business groups (bankers, energy efficiency consultants, wind developers, etc.) to identify and implement the best value-added leveraging opportunities and improve program education. We also provide coordination and leadership for a growing, diverse ag-energy coalition of farm, agricultural commodity, rural economic development, sustainable energy, environmental and other organizations supporting and promoting REAP and other ag energy programs in the Farm Bill.
ELPC, along with National Parks Conservation Association colleagues, are engaging local leaders to protect the Teddy Roosevelt National Park from potential harms posed by nearby hydraulic fracturing activity and natural gas flaring. This is part of a larger effort to protect North Dakota’s “special places” — including areas in and around the National Park, Little Missouri National Grasslands, Elkhorn Ranch and the Badlands
Renewable energy contributes more than $1 billion to North Dakota’s economy. That’s why ELPC staff sit on the Board of the North Dakota Alliance for Renewable Energy (NDARE), which promotes advancing renewable energy even more. With our partners at NDARE, ELPC works to advance policy and financing solutions for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to succeed in North Dakota. For example, in 2013 we worked to extend tax exemptions for wind energy generation facilities through 2017 and to promote the state’s new Industrial Commission budget that provides up to $3 million every two years for the Renewable Energy Development Fund. We also worked with partners to increase funding available to biofuel producing facilities.