Family farming and renewable energy linked

May 25, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Farmers are the original green energy, and given enough funding resources, farm efforts will create the fuel and renewable energy this nation needs.

With 2014 as the International Year of the Family Farmer, it is a great opportunity to highlight the important role farmers play in renewable energy, and to promote policies of renewable energies at the global level.

Renewable fuel and energy is a win across the board. It gives family farmers and rural communities an opportunity to improve their financial base, and decrease the effects of climate change by reducing the carbon footprint and reducing greenhouse gases.

When you consider that it also makes us less reliant on foreign oil, making us a more safe and secure nation, continuing the path toward increased use of renewable energy is a means of national security.

While at the World Farmers Organisation (WFO) General Assembly, National Farmers Union (NFU) was able to insert a renewable energy resolution for consideration among the WFO nations; a tremendous first step given the argument of food versus fuel. It shows acceptance, and we should be proud that NFU brought renewables forward in the global dialogue.

When considering renewable energy, I would be remiss if I did not mention renewable fuels. This is a young industry when compared to fossil fuels. We are developing scientific efficiencies to be competitive, but in reality, we are already competitive.

Biofuels reduce greenhouse gases by 59 percent, with the second generation reducing greenhouse gases by 62 percent, including land use consideration. And, the biggest win is that it costs $5/tank cheaper at the pump and costs $1 per gallon less to manufacture than gasoline.

The importance of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is apparent based on fact. It has increased net farm income by 51 percent since it was enacted. The RFS is excellent for family farmers and rural communities. Plus, it is the only fuel that allows us to meet air quality standards throughout the nation. Without renewables in gasoline, our clean air standards would not be compliant, and the Environment Protection Agency knows that.

Renewable energy may not be perfect, but I will take the first and second generation of American renewable fuel over dirty gasoline and world dominance of big oil.

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