Campaign Promises

Cabinet/Departments -> Agriculture -> Renewable Energy

Renewable EnergyGrade
The Promise: "... Will encourage the use of methane digesters that are being used to produce power from animal waste."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Promoting a Healthy Environment," dated 10/08/08.
Status:On 12/15/09 while at a climate conference in Copenhagen, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced an agreement with U.S. dairy producers to accelerate adoption of innovative manure-to-energy projects on American dairy farms. This would lead to a reduction of dairy farm greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% by 2020 while also extracting electricity from the raw manure using anaerobic digesters.

The USDA reports that it has several programs that support the installation of anaerobic digesters and other technologies that reduce GHG emissions from
manure management practices. They include:

(1) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which includes conservation practice standards for both anaerobic digesters, solid separators, and roofs and covers with methane flaring;

(2) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which supports anaerobic digesters through grants and loans; and

(3) Research, education, and extension programs to explore the development and implementation of technologies and practices that reduce methane emissions from animal manure.

Under EQIP and REAP, the USDA has initiated Livestock Partnerships that explore mechanisms to prioritize anaerobic digesters and the appropriate associated electrical generation technology, covers with flares, solid separators, and other manure management technologies that reduce GHG emissions.

The promise to "encourage" the use of methane digesters as a means to produce power from animal waste during President Obama's tenure in office has been fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will expand USDA projects that focus on energy efficiency and conservation."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Promoting a Healthy Environment," dated 10/08/08.
Status:Section 6407 of the 2014 Farm Bill, the "Agricultural Act of 2014" (H.R. 2642), signed into law by President Obama on 02/07/14, is new. Entitled the "Rural Energy Savings Program," this section did not exist under the 2008 Farm Bill. The purpose of this section is "to help rural families and small businesses achieve cost savings by providing loans to qualified consumers to implement durable cost- effective energy efficiency measures.

This section of the 2014 Farm Bill provides funding to complete energy audits, provide renewable energy development assistance, make energy efficiency improvements and install renewable energy systems. The USDA also has programs that help convert older heating sources to cleaner technologies, produce advanced biofuels, install solar panels, build biorefineries, and other energy efficiency/conservation initiatives.

There is authorized to be appropriated $75M annually (FY2014 through FY2018) to carry out the provisions of Section 6407 of the 2014 Farm Bill.

This promise has been fulfilled.