Energy Provisions of the Farm Bill: Comparison of the New Law with Previous Law and House and Senate Bills [Updated January 22, 2003] [open pdf - 48KB]
"On May 13, 2002, President Bush signed a new farm bill--The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (P.L. [Public Law] 107-171). The new farm bill contains many energy-related provisions. The previous farm bill was the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-127), popularly called the FAIR Act. Most of the authorities of the FAIR Act expired at the end of FY2002. Increased concerns about energy security, greenhouse gas emissions, and pollution have led to an increase in congressional interest in energy policy. In that general context, there is growing interest in biofuels (including ethanol and biodiesel), bioenergy, and biobased products as a strategy to improve domestic energy security and increase farm income. Further, open spaces used for agricultural production are seen by some as ideal places to install renewable energy systems such as wind turbines and solar cells. In addition, farmers have been concerned with high energy costs because energy can be a major production cost. Although there were no energy provisions in the FAIR Act, the final version of the farm bill contains several provisions on renewable energy, biomass and biofuels, carbon sequestration, and other energy issues."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31271
National Agricultural Law Center: http:nationalaglawcenter.org/