Congressman Doug LaMalfa participated in a House Committee on Agriculture hearing titled, “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Energy – Renewable Energy Opportunities in Rural America.” This hearing examined the 2018 Farm Bill energy programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA provides several grant and loan opportunities for agriculture-based renewable energy programs, including biofuels (ethanol) and biomass.
There are five major sources of renewable energy: solar energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, biomass, and hydropower. As of 2020, these renewable energy sources provided approximately 12 percent of the total U.S. energy consumption, including 20 percent of the total U.S. electricity generation.
“Energy independence is vital to our national security,” LaMalfa said. “America needs to embrace an energy policy that supports every type, from natural gas and oil drilling to nuclear and every reasonable renewable. We cannot simply declare that some methods of power generation are off limits. Energy production of all kinds has been important for rural economies; providing jobs, farm income and tax revenue.
“California is the leading state in biomass production, and it’s very important for the North State. We have millions of tons of waste biomass sitting on our forest floors – dry, decomposing and waiting to be part of the next catastrophic forest fire. By converting forest waste to domestic energy, we help prevent debris buildup and keep our forests healthy, curtail wildfires, strengthen energy independence and create thousands of local jobs at each step of the process. Biomass is a win-win-win for everyone.”