Valadao, Spanberger Introduce Bill to Lower Energy Costs by Strengthening the Rural Energy for America Program
Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-22) joined Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) and Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) to introduce the REAP Modernization Act. The bill makes improvements to the Rural Energy in America Program (REAP), which provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-22) joined Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) and Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) to introduce the REAP Modernization Act. The bill makes improvements to the Rural Energy in America Program (REAP), which provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements.
“As a lifelong dairy farmer, I know our farmers and producers are always looking for ways to use new technology to be more efficient and act as responsible stewards of our environment,” said Congressman Valadao. “I’m proud to reintroduce the REAP Modernization Act with Representative Spanberger to make this popular program more responsive to the needs of Central Valley communities. This bill makes it easier for rural small businesses and farmers to take advantage of this program and lower their costs by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
“As the Ranking Member of the Conservation, Research, and Biotechnology Subcommittee, I’ve heard America’s producers sing REAP’s praises — and I’ve heard directly from Virginia farmers about the benefits of this commonsense program. However, we need to take more steps to lower costs for our farmers, producers, and rural communities when they’re making smart investments in clean energy and energy storage,” said Spanberger. “That’s why I’m proud to lead this bipartisan effort to cut red tape and lower energy costs. As the only Virginian on the House Agriculture Committee, I want to thank my colleagues Senator Smith and Congressman Valadao for recognizing the importance of not leaving our rural producers and communities behind as we make investments in America’s economic future.”
“USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program supports dairy producers who seek to install renewable energy systems, including methane digesters which use manure and other organic wastes to produce baseload electricity and give dairy farmers a unique environmental stewardship opportunity. We commend Representatives Abigail Spanberger, D-VA, and David Valadao, R-CA, as well as Senator Tina Smith, D-MN, for reintroducing the REAP Modernization Act. This bipartisan bill strengthens REAP by establishing a reserve fund for under-used technologies like methane digesters and improving cooperative eligibility under this important program,” said Jim Mulhern, President & CEO, National Milk Producers Federation.
“National Farmers Union supports the REAP Modernization Act to strengthen and improve the Rural Energy for America Program. REAP has supported the voluntary adoption of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements on farms, ranches, and for rural small businesses across the country. This bill will provide a foundation for continued investment in renewable energy for rural communities that is good for the economy and the climate,” said Rob Larew, President, National Farmers Union.
“The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) has a demonstrated track record supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. FACA thanks Representatives Spanberger (D-VA) and Valadao (R-CA) as well as Senator Smith (D-MN) for introducing the REAP Modernization Act, which will streamline the program's application process and improve technical assistance and outreach for interested applicants. Wider adoption of renewable energy systems will boost energy savings and deliver climate benefits to rural America,” said the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance.
“The Ag Energy Coalition is deeply grateful to and lauds Senator Smith, Representatives Spanberger and Valadao for this important bi-partisan legislation. The USDA REAP program is an essential component of the agriculture and rural economy. Modernizing the popular program in the 2023 Farm Bill will make it easier, and quicker, for farmers and rural small businesses to save money and improve their bottom lines, while bolstering the environment and public health, and mitigating the negative impacts of climate change,” said Lloyd Ritter, Director, Agriculture Energy Coalition.
The REAP Modernization Act would: