October 19, 2021
A diverse group of agricultural, environmental, business and energy groups from across the country have called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to support a program that helps rural America join in – and benefit from – the renewable energy economy.
In a letter this week, the coalition urged the leaders to fully support the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) in the Build Back Better Act. The Agriculture Committees recommend an investment of $2.55 billion over 10 years, an amount that would help the popular program grow and enable farmers to help address the climate crisis.
REAP provides competitive grants and loan guarantees allowing individual farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to set up renewable energy and energy efficiency projects allowing them to cut costs, become more energy independent and help decarbonize the U.S. economy.
Since 2002, REAP has supported 20,000 projects and has been used in every state and every agricultural sector. The program is historically over-subscribed, showing the popularity and impact REAP could have if funded to the full recommended amount.
“The Rural Energy for America Program is a top program at the USDA for cutting carbon. REAP also builds rural economies and opportunity and has always had bipartisan support,” said Andy Olsen, Senior Policy Advocate at the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “Now is the time to build on the success of REAP and to expand this vital program.”