Bill to Lower Cost of Alternative Energy Options for Farmers Introduced

Washington, DC- U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) introduced the bipartisan Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act, which provides tax incentives for farmers and rural electric cooperatives to invest in biogas and nutrient recovery technology.

“We must help our dairy farmers find a cost effective way to use processes that are environmentally friendly. This tax credit will make these new technologies more affordable and the use of such methods will benefit our communities,” said Congressman Reed.

“Wisconsin’s agriculture industry, responsible for $88.3 billion in economic activity and 413,500 jobs, is critical to the increasing job creation and growing the local economy. By making it more affordable for Wisconsin farmers to pursue biogas technology we make sure they have more resources to create jobs and protect our natural resources for future generations,” said Congressman Kind.

“By creating incentives to make biogas and manure resource recovery technologies more affordable the Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act will encourage more widespread use of manure digesters. This benefits society by decreasing nutrient runoff in waterways, decreasing farm odors, and improving water quality,” said Jim Mulhern, NMPF President and CEO.

The Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act promotes investment by allowing biogas technology to qualify for an energy tax credit that is on-par with the 30 percent tax credit for solar energy. The legislation is geared toward properties that use anaerobic digesters or other biological, chemical, thermal, or mechanical processes to make biogas that is at least 52 percent methane as well as nutrient recovery systems which make digesters run more efficiently and reduce harmful waste runoff.

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