WASHINGTON, Oct. 28- The Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC) sent a letter yesterday to the four principal agriculture committee leaders to make its case for improvements to several 2008 Farm Bill Energy Title programs that are being reviewed by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

The members of the AEC, formed in conjunction with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), focus on developing federal and state policies to accelerate advanced ethanol development.

“The next generation of the U.S. ethanol industry is just beginning to break ground on first commercial projects across the country, and while the Energy Title currently accounts for less than one percent of total budgetary outlays for the 2008 Farm Bill, many of these programs will be critical to existing and future advanced ethanol development projects,” according to the letter addressed to Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kans.) and Reps. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).

The Council’s recommendations to the energy programs include extending the USDA Loan Guarantee program for bio-refinery projects; maintaining support for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP); and reforming the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) to make it more cost-effective, “including efforts to preserve the environmental benefits of land coming out of conservation programs by incenting sustainable energy crop production.”

In addition, the Council suggested working with the agriculture committees to modify the Repowering Assistance Program, which provides payments to bio-refineries to use renewable biomass as a replacement fuel source for fossil fuels.


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