conservation stakeholder group Ducks Unlimited notes on its website, the bill adds $1.6 billion in funding to the Wetlands Reserve Program which improves conditions for waterfowl and landowners. Supporters of this bill argue that the bill not only promotes a safety net that protects farmers and benefits tax payers, but it also increases funding of programs to increase conservation of our wildlife, forestry, and land.
Sample Paper 16 Issue 3: “Bioenergy/”energy independence” The last issue proponents address is the current hot topic of bioenergy. With crude oil prices rising and “peak oil” scares becoming ever so frequent, “clean energy advocates are looking to agriculture to shift our dependence from volatile Mideastern oil reserves to liquid ‘biofuels’ and ‘biomass’ energy derived from Midwestern farm fields” (Imhoff 103). Mike Johanns, the current national Secretary of Agriculture, states, “the new Farm bill proposal would dramatically expand the commitment to renewable fuels” (Crooks 18). Proponents of the farm bill feel that ethanol and other biofuels are an applicable solution to the ever-looming energy crisis. With an increase of biofuel grown in America, the dependency for foreign oil is lessened or diminished, which results in more money for local biofuel farmers, and less money spent by consumers. Proponents claim the farm bill would include several measures to increase biofuel research and production. Anthony Crooks, an agricultural economist, states some of these measures include investing $25 million a year for four years to encourage the development and growth of cellulosic ethanol production, and a reauthorization of the Renewable Energy Systems grants to provide $2.17 billion loan guarantees and $500 million for grants (18). In addition to ethanol research and development, one proposal includes a new $150 million over ten year initiative to support wood-based energy systems, such as wood to ethanol conversion (“Summary of USDA”).
Sample Paper 17 Proponents argue the benefits of bioenergy research and development would be immense. For example, some benefits include the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the potential to boost local economies through transportation infrastructure revitalization, and the possibility for farmers to have new markets and opportunities for farmer-owned multinational cooperatives (Imhoff 107). Supporters of bioenergy and renewable fuel sources cite that biofuels are “just part of a larger integrated future energy strategy” and with an upcoming energy bill pushing towards alternative fuel sources, it only seems logical to be ahead of the market (107). This evidence, coupled with the other two issues and arguments helps advocates of the 2007 farm bill garner support from a variety of organizations and individuals, but what are they doing to promote their cause?
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- Spring '09