The FY18 Omnibus includes a provision preventing the Department of Agriculture from using appropriations to fund the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) an initiative which got its start in the energy title of the 2008 farm bill. BCAP was intended to promote the next-generation of nonfood based bioenergy and biofuels crops by subsidizing the collection, harvesting, storage, and or transport of biomass materials. But due to a series of loopholes the program’s costs skyrocketed from its initial estimate of $70 million over 5 years to $248 million in FY2010 alone.
Landscapers, particleboard manufactures, and logging companies among others were able to take advantage of the loophole. Despite Congress’s attempt to shore up the loophole in 2014, the program was still unable to spur the production of non-food biofuel crops, while continuing to pay out tens of millions of dollars to agricultural producers. Taxpayers for Common Sense applauds Congress for attempting to put a stop to this program which has been fraught with issues from the start.