Bustos secures agriculture wins for rural America in $152B appropriations bill

July 12, 2020 |

In Illinois, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) helped pass a comprehensive Agriculture and Rural Development funding bill out of the powerful House Appropriations Committee that would deliver more than $152 billion in agriculture and rural support, including bolstering biofuels.

Congresswoman Bustos successfully secured a number of provisions for Illinois and rural America including:

  • Bolstering the use of biofuels to reduce emissions, by encouraging the USDA to work with the Environmental Protection Agency to update the Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES) system, which is used to estimate emissions for mobile sources of air pollutants, greenhouse gases and air toxins.
  • Provisions from Congresswoman Bustos’ America Grows Act that will support USDA research.
  • A future plan to incentivize the next generation of digitally sophisticated agricultural extension programs, through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the USDA will develop a framework to encourage schools to develop more advanced agricultural programs, which would help the University of Illinois’ Extension program.
  • Mental health support for farmers and ranchers, through a USDA study on farmer and rancher mental and behavioral health support, in coordination with the Rural Health Liaison, a position established last year, thanks to Congresswoman Bustos’ efforts.

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said, “We are thrilled to see language calling for the long-overdue update to the MOVES model in this year’s agriculture appropriations report and are grateful for the efforts of Congresswoman Bustos to secure this provision. Currently, the MOVES model uses flawed data that can stifle and unnecessarily penalize higher biofuel blends. It’s important that USDA and EPA share the most updated data and science, so that any updates to EPA’s MOVES model capture the full air quality benefits of cleaner biofuel blends. Biofuels are a cleaner burning, more affordable fuel designed to help combat pollution and reduce the harmful emissions in the air we breathe, and having a MOVES model that better reflects the real-world benefits of higher ethanol blends paves the way for greater access for American drivers.”

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Category: Policy

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