WASHINGTON (June 19, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today called the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee cuts to mandatory spending for farm bill energy programs in its FY2016 appropriations bill, “short-sighted,” and reminded lawmakers of the importance of these programs to help farmers mitigate climate change.
“Family farmers are among the first to suffer the negative impacts of climate change,” said Johnson. “Farmers want to help build climate resiliency, but cutting mandatory spending for energy programs denies us the policy support we need in order to do our part. NFU urges the Senate to ensure mandatory spending on these programs is in line with the president’s budget.”
Johnson noted the cuts include a $15 million reduction to the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and a $13 million reduction in spending for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), programs that help farmers mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through increased renewable energy deployment and encouraging biofuels development.
“These mandatory spending levels were set through painstaking bipartisan collaborations during the extended debates over the 2014 Farm Bill,” said Johnson. “Tinkering with mandatory funding is both unfortunate and short-sighted, and it could upset the careful balances set by Congress just last year. This disruption would jeopardize the investment in developing technologies and reduction in energy costs for producers these programs create.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.