This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 06, 2006

Proposed USDA Budget Includes $345 Million for Energy Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on February 1st that the President's proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 provides for at least $345 million in loans, grants, and other support for energy projects. The budget will help producers manage the impacts of high energy costs while employing renewable energy resources and energy efficient technologies, in support of a comprehensive energy strategy announced by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns in December 2005. USDA's core investment in energy related projects increases to $85 million in the 2007 budget request, a 27 percent increase. The funding supports renewable energy research and development projects, as well as efforts to support energy development and transmission across public lands. The budget also provides more than $250 million per year in loans and grants in FY 2006 and 2007 to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects through the USDA Rural Development program. See the USDA press release and Secretary Johanns' discussion of the budget.