May 27, 2011

Open Letter Defending REAP and BCAP

Yesterday the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee voted to eliminate USDA BCAP and REAP funding - this in the name of frugality. Biomass Magazine's Lisa Gibson has written an excellent article that accurately depicts the situation. I encourage readers to contact their House Congressional Representatives immediately to express their desire to keep these programs intact.

Cutting these biomass production initiatives are very likely just the opening salvo in an attack by the new House majority Republicans to gut alternative fuel and climate change programs. Surprising, really, since the states most likely to be hurt by these cuts are traditional Republican rural strongholds. The outcome of these cuts would be even less market entry of technologies providing choices at the pump and power outlets, shrinking markets for agricultural and forest industry producers, and declining of products that can provide America with greater energy self-reliance.

Here's an open letter to my Congressman on the possibility that the House Appropriations Committee will progress with plans to cut REAP and BCAP funding:

I want to express in the most vigorous way possible my alarm that the House Appropriations Subcommittee has recommended the elimination of two USDA programs (REAP and BCAP) that are critical to the future national and energy security of the nation.

I am deeply involved with bioenergy issues throughout the U.S. because of my firm belief in the need to insure that next generations of Americans have the choice of alternative fuels at the pump. Fossil fuels are not only not renewable but are getting dirtier, more expensive, and unsustainable (economically, environmentally, and socially) all the time.

REAP and BCAP are small investments that will help propel the development of new energy projects that cannot be off-shored. At the same time they will enable rural communities to remain economically self-reliant at a time when too many of our resources are being underfinanced for proper management or, worse, plowed under to make room for urban sprawl.

I implore you to take a leading role in fighting this attack on renewable energy development on the false perception that it will "save money." That is penny-wise and "pound-fuelish" to the extreme.
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