Senate Panel Approves Farm Bill with Energy Title

The Senate Agriculture Committee voted 15-5 today to approve the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, which includes cuts to reduce the deficit by $23 billion dollars but still offers a commitment to renewable energy.

senate-committeeThe bill includes an energy title that helps to advance “bio-energy production, supporting advanced biomass energy production such as cellulosic ethanol and pellets from woody biomass for power.”

The bill also provides support for blender pumps and higher ethanol blends, which was welcomed by the ethanol industry. “The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) thanks Chairwoman Stabenow and members of the Senate Agriculture Committee for adopting a Farm Bill which provides $800 million in mandatory funding for critical Energy Title initiatives, particularly $241 million in mandatory funding for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP),” said ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings. “REAP provides vital cost-share assistance to help petroleum marketers make upgrades or install new equipment at retail stations, ensuring consumers have access to renewable and affordable fuels such as ethanol. Today’s action highlights strong bipartisan support for market access to E15 and midlevel blends, such as E30 or E85. We encourage the U.S. Senate to take action soon to enact the Farm Bill.”

The bill is expected to move to the Senate floor next week.

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