Wisconsin State Journal
September 20, 2014
The United States faces historic energy challenges to our economy, environment and national security.
Rural energy development, especially on-farm energy production, responds to these challenges through clean, low-carbon renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities, as this 2014 report documents.
The Farm Bill’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is helping farmers and ranchers, other agriculture producers such as greenhouse growers, and rural small businesses throughout the country face and overcome these challenges.
REAP and other farm energy programs boost local economies in several major ways. They create demand for new jobs for system development, installation, operation and maintenance. They help small businesses, which are engines of job creation. And they increase on-farm income and keep more of our energy dollars in our local communities.
Farm energy also increases our energy independence. A stable energy supply – largely immune to the supply shortages and pollution impacts of fossil fuels – is critical to our country’s security.
Clean energy also improves environmental quality by reducing or eliminating water, air and land pollution impacts from on-farm activities and fossil fuel power sources.
With a strong national commitment to policies such as Farm Bill clean energy programs, America can today provide clean energy for jobs, security and the environment for those who follow us.