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   "Our nation’s infrastructure gives America’s farmers and ranchers a competitive advantage and helps us move products from fields to consumers around the world. These investments will ensure we continue to safely and efficiently transport the agricultural and food products that our nation and the world rely on.”

                                                -- Zippy Duvall, President of American Farm Bureau Federation

(Source)

  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $10 million in grants to support research on the economic, social and environmental benefits of using materials derived from bioproducts in the development and manufacturing of construction and consumer products.

  • Energy Improvement in Rural and Remote Areas: Administered through the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $1B to carry out activities to improve the resilience, safety, reliability, and availability of energy and provide environmental protection from adverse impacts of energy generation in rural and remote communities with populations of 10,000 or less. Eligible projects may include: (A) Overall cost-effectiveness of energy generation, transmission, or distribution systems; (B) siting or upgrading transmission and distribution lines; (C) reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation by rural or remote areas; (D) providing or modernizing electric generation facilities; (E) developing microgrids; and (F) increasing energy efficiency. DOE anticipates emphasizing grid reliability and resiliency for the funding, and will conduct stakeholder engagement over the next few months to inform the structure of the program.

  • USDA Rural Development Electric Programs - The Electric Program provides capital to maintain, expand, upgrade, and modernize America’s vast rural electric infrastructure. The loans and loan guarantees finance the construction of electric distribution, transmission, and generation facilities, including system improvements and replacement required to furnish and improve electric service in rural areas, as well as demand side management, energy efficiency and conservation programs, and on-grid and off-grid renewable energy systems.

  • Enhance Existing Water Infrastructure. $63 billion is earmarked for improvements to national water infrastructure which broken down will be: $3.2 billion to repair aging water infrastructure; $1.2 billion for new water storage, groundwater storage, and conveyance systems; and $618 million \ to the USDA’s watershed programs.

  • First Generation (Gen-1) Corn Ethanol Emission Reductions Program. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office will offer funding totaling $10M for multiple projects that analyze and demonstrate strategies to lower GHG emissions and Carbon Intensity (CI) within existing the Gen-1 corn ethanol industry (mostly located in rural America).  Technologies such as low-carbon agricultural practices, switching to renewable process heat and power (i.e., renewable natural gas, or biomass), utilization of process produced CO2, and new productivity or conversion efficiency measures in ethanol facilities have the potential to reduce GHG emissions to net zero. For more information visit EERE Exchange at https://eere-Exchange.energy.gov.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rechartered its Farm, Ranch & Rural Communities Advisory Committee (FRRCC).  Administrator Regan simultaneously announced a new charge topic for the FRRCC as well. The FRRCC’s 2022–2024 charge is: “Advancing Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for U.S. Agriculture.”  To address this charge, the FRRCC will consider US EPA’s available tools and programs and identify voluntary, incentive-based opportunities, public-private partnerships, and market-based approaches where US EPA can assist in advancing agriculture’s climate mitigation and adaptation strategies.

 

The FRRCC’s 2022–2024 charge topic regarding climate mitigation and adaptation strategies at first glance appears broad, but the FRRCC is taxed with analyzing specific topics, including:

  • Alternative manure management systems and other methane reduction practices;

  • Improved quantification of greenhouse gas emissions reductions from low-carbon biofuels;

  • Climate and water quality co-benefits from nutrient management practices;

  • Strategies to achieve EPA and USDA’s goal of halving food loss and waste by 2030;

  • Research and regulatory responses to evolving pest pressures due to climate change; and

  • Water management and reuse strategies to address water scarcity.