WASHINGTON (June 21, 2011) – National Farmers Union (NFU) Vice President of Government Relations Chandler Goule spoke to attendees of the Biogas East and Midwest 2011 Conference today about energy programs in the 2012 Farm Bill and potential challenges that those programs face.
“Programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) have become very popular recently,” said Goule. “EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to producers to help plan and implement conservation practices. Unfortunately, the Fiscal Year 2012 budget that just passed the U.S. House of Representatives cuts EQIP funding twenty percent from what was authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. These budget cuts also affect the program going forward, reducing the baseline in the 2012 Farm Bill.”
Goule discussed ways that convention goers could become involved in preserving energy programs.
“Educating members of Congress will be critical,” said Goule. “Lawmakers rely on individuals who have real-world experience to let them know what programs work and which ones don’t. Programs such as EQIP and the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) are working and need to be continued. In the FY 2012 appropriations bill that recently passed the House, REAP’s budget was cut from $77 million to $2.3 million. Not only do these programs create jobs, but they also help us produce homegrown energy, lessening America’s dependence on foreign sources like oil. It is good for our economy and good for the environment. That is why education is so important, and it starts with individuals contacting their members of Congress and sharing their stories.”