Back in 2012 we’d hoped we had seen the last of the Repowering Assistance when the program got the axe in both House and Senate versions of that farm bill. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. The program was funded in the 2014 farm bill and has been proposed to receive funding in this year’s draft House bill.
The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 provides $10 million in discretionary funding each year FY 2014-23 (as compared to $12 million in mandatory funding for FY14 and $10 million in discretionary funding each year FY 2014-18 in the 2014 farm bill).
The program reimburses biorefineries for using biomass sources like wood chips as a heat and power source instead of fossil fuels. All of the funding to date has been sent to producers of corn ethanol in direct contravention of the program’s intended purpose – supporting advanced biofuels.
It is time to stop putting taxpayer dollars towards funding corn ethanol subsidies and end the Repowering Assistance Program.