Guest commentary: Grow rural economy with energy efficiency
Although energy programs generally have bipartisan support, there is a danger that we won’t get a Farm Bill at all this year. The current Farm Bill extension is set to expire in September. If that happens, the average American might see food prices skyrocket, families in need would have no assistance with groceries, and farmers might have trouble paying the bills. Less visibly—but not less importantly—land grant universities would see a large portion of research funds dry up. If the House and Senate can’t agree on the most controversial provisions, they might pass another temporary extension to act as a Band-Aid until they can consider a real Farm Bill again. Funding for important programs, including energy, might be slashed as a “temporary,” “emergency” measure. Rural America needs a new Farm Bill to provide stability for the next few years.