- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
“The Farm Bill’s new renewable energy development and energy efficiency programs show that a clean environment and rural economic development go hand-in-hand,” said Howard Learner, Executive Director of Environmental Law & Policy Center of the Midwest. “Farmers and ranchers can increase their income by developing wind power and biomass clean energy cash crops on their lands, and can save money by becoming more energy efficient in their operations. This is a win-win-win for farmers, rural economic development and the environment.”
The new programs were developed by the ELPC and Senator Harkin (D-Iowa), Senator Lugar (R-Indiana) and other Midwestern Senators. Farmers now have incentives to develop renewable wind power and biomass clean energy cash crops in rural areas, and finances will be provided to streamline operations with new technologies.
The legislation includes several related new programs providing financial incentives for farmers and ranchers to develop renewable wind power and biomass “clean energy cash crops” in rural communities. In addition to encouraging environmental advancements, the new provisions will likely encourage economic growth, as new businesses can sell sources such as wind power and biomass.
Air_Senate to review air conditioner and heat pump _efficiencies
The U.S. Department of Energy is expected to make a 20-percent increase in the efficiency of residential central air conditioners and heat pumps manufactured in 2006.
This standard could potentially reduce operating costs for consumers and small businesses, and make a positive impact on the environment. Senators expressed during debate that under federal law, the standard is applicable in all 50 states and must be economically justified and technologically feasible. Efficiency is a key issue because air conditioning can save lives during heat waves.
Some expressed that the new standard would be a challenge, as the cost of the new 13 SEER air conditioner would jump to $700, up from the 12 SEER price of $407. Debates continue amongst the Department of Justice, the Small Business Administration, the National Association of Homebuilders and the Manufactured Housing Institute as to whether the proposed national policy would be economically feasible.