Cutting BCAP Funding: Penny-Wise and Pound-Foolish

By Bob Cleaves | March 21, 2011

Throughout the month of February, the biomass industry engaged in a campaign to ensure the continued funding of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program.

Congress is still debating the line items that will be included in the final 2011 budget—and we are making our case that BCAP should be one of them.

We want to impress upon our lawmakers the huge bargain BCAP provides our nation. This source of funding pales in comparison to the resources given to other renewable energy sources—and it provides many benefits to the biomass industry, which in turn are passed on to the nation in dividends. Thanks to the willingness of many of you to speak on the industry’s behalf, we’ve been able to begin to illustrate to our leaders the widespread network of Americans who rely on BCAP.

Representatives of all aspects of the biomass industry—from suppliers and truckers to loggers and plant managers—signed a letter of solidarity that was sent to Congressional leadership about the need to preserve this program.  Many others e-mailed and called their senators to give a firsthand perspective on the benefits biomass provides their home state because of BCAP funding.

The letter emphasized the many ways BCAP supports the critical role played by biomass in the nation’s renewable energy sector—and it shed light on the “bargain” that BCAP provides Americans. For a mere fraction of the cost of funding other renewable energy sources, Americans receive half of the nation’s clean energy, thousands of jobs and forest fire prevention.   

We don’t yet know whether the BCAP budget will be preserved. What we do know is this: with Congressional action, U.S. EPA decisions and state legislative action hanging in the balance, it is more important now than ever for the biomass industry to band together. We must articulate all that we do for the country, on the national, state and local level. 

Thank you to all who provided their support to the BCAP cause. We are increasingly earning national recognition as a solid and dependable source of clean energy.

Author: Bob Cleaves
President and CEO, Biomass Power Association