New Budget Eviscerating Rural Clean Energy Programs
On May 23, 2017, the White House released their recommended fiscal year 2018 budget, reflecting their priorities and policies for the nation. And the message clearly states they do not support farm-based clean energy production as a way to invest in rural America. This budget would unravel the legislative deal struck in the 2014 Farm Bill.
The “Trump Budget” eliminated funding for the most effective programs of the Farm Bill Energy Title. Additionally, for several programs the budget eliminated funding that had been carried forward from previous years, which means they went beyond cutting annual funding to even eliminate residual funds.
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) has supported over 15,000 energy saving and clean energy producing projects in rural areas in every state. The 2014 Farm Bill provided mandatory funding of $50 million per year. The Trump budget would eliminate all of that funding, and also remove $8 million carried forward from previous years, essentially killing REAP.