|The House of Representatives passed the 2007 Farm Bill (H.R. 2419) by a vote of 231-191. The Senate must now consider their version of the Farm Bill. The 2002 Farm Bill expires on September 30, 2007. The main issue for HPBA in the Farm Bill is the Community Wood Energy Program. This program authorizes a grant program for state and local governments and communities to use low-grade wood biomass in community wood energy systems for state and locally owned businesses such as schools, town halls, and courthouses. This is another issue HPBA will be supporting and advocating for in the U.S. Senate.
Other issues of importance in the Farm Bill for HPBA members are more secondary in nature. There are definitions of biomass which include wood and wood pellets. This is an important first step to allowing our industry to partake in additional areas of assistance. The Farm Bill also protect and sustains our nation’s forest resources and makes important new investments in renewable energy research, development and production in rural America.