Dear Algae Biomass Organization members,
Today the U.S. Senate passed a farm bill that we expect will soon be signed by President Obama. This bill is the result of hard negotiations among members of Congress, and we are happy to report that all of the initiatives supported by the Algae Biomass Organization have been included in the final legislation:
- The bill will allow algae projects to be eligible for support through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) for establishment and maintenance of algae crops. Last year, the Senate had passed a farm bill which explicitly excluded algae from crop establishment and maintenance support under BCAP. ABO successfully lobbied to have this anti-algae language removed from the bill which passed today.
- ABO also supported mandatory funding for the Energy Title in the Farm Bill, and we were glad to see that $881 million of mandatory funding was included in versions of the bill passed by both the House and the Senate. This language will ensure that programs under the Energy Title including BCAP, the Biorefinery Assistance Program, the Biomass R&D Program, and the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels receive funding.
- The Biorefinery Assistance Program is extended beyond fuel, and will now apply to renewable chemicals and biobased products as well. This will be welcome news for those looking to produce the full range of algae-derived products.
- Finally, the bill extends the Non-Insured Crop Assistance Program (NAP) to energy crops. Currently NAP only covers crops grown for food, feed and fiber.
The ABO supported all of these changes, and the fact that they appear in the final legislation represents a significant accomplishment for the organization.
We would like to thank all of the ABO members, and our friends at K&L Gates, who helped keep Congress informed about the positive benefits each of these changes can bring. You have helped the algae industry take a significant step forward.
If you have questions about how the farm bill might impact your operations, please contact ABO’s legislative counsel Laurie Purpuro at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to building on today’s success!