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Baby Steps Toward a Farm Bill

By Anna Simet | May 16, 2013

This week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry voted to approve a bipartisan Farm Bill authored by Committee Chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Ranking Member Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

Astonishingly, just a day later, the House Agriculture Committee passed its own version. The Senate plans to continue work on it next week, but leaders in the House have not yet set a schedule. Word is that it’s likely to happen next month.

Here is a quick comparison of some of the energy title programs in the bills:

REAP – (Rural Energy for American Program)

Senate:  $241 million in mandatory funding   

House:   $45 million in discretionary funding pear year through 2018

 

BCAP—(Biomass Crop Assistance Program)

Senate: $193 million mandatory funding

House: $75 million discretionary funding per year through 2018

 

BAP—(Biorefinery Assistance Program)

Senate: $216 million in mandatory funding (adds renewable chemical and biobased product manufacturing)

House: $75 million discretionary funding per year through 2018

 

Biomass Research and Development Initiative

Senate: $130 million in mandatory funding

House: $20 million in discretionary funding per year through 2018

 

Community Wood-to-Energy Program

Senate: Reauthorized 

House: $2 million in discretionary funding per year through 2018

 

Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels

Senate: $80 million in appropriated funding

House: $50 million in discretionary funding per year through 2018

 

These Farm Bill versions are awfully familiar to those involved in the last attempt at passing a new four-year bill (Senate likes mandatory funding, House likes discretionary).

Let’s just hope the rigmarole and painstakingly slow process isn’t familiar, too.

Stay tuned.

 

 

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