25x’25: Increasing Agriculture’s Role in Domestic Energy

The following is a joint post from the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee, Va. GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte and Minn. Dem. Rep. Collin Peterson:

Despite the decline in gasoline prices, asserting our nation’s energy independence continues to be a challenge. To move us closer toward the goal of greater energy independence, the House of Representatives recently passed a resolution that established a goal of producing 25 percent of the all energy consumed in the U.S. on America’s farms, ranches and forests by the year 2025, an initiative known as 25x’25 (H. Con. Res. 424).

The resolution recognizes the need for a sustainable, safe, and reliable energy supply and enjoys wide bipartisan support in the House Agriculture Committee and in the House and the Senate. A broad coalition of agriculture, industry, environmental leaders, as well as several governors and state legislators have also rallied around the 25x’25 Resolution.

Expanding production and use of renewable fuels opens new markets for agriculture producers, provides consumers with a safe, sustainable, environmentally friendly, and renewable source of energy, and decreases our nation’s dependency on foreign oil, reducing the negative effects of severe spikes in oil prices on consumers.

The 25x’25 resolution is a bold and ambitious goal, and it is a challenge that the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of our rural communities will help us reach. American agriculture is leading the way for us not only to meet but to exceed the goal of producing 25 percent our nation’s energy from renewable sources by 2025. Renewable energy already accounts for 6 percent of America’s total energy today and by 2025 it will be possible to produce 70 billion gallons of ethanol, or 25 percent of our projected gas use, from farm and forest resources including many waste materials.

A clean, sustainable energy supply is something we can all benefit from and we believe that the 25x’25 initiative will help spark ideas and spur discussion about how to go about better utilizing agriculture in the renewable fuels markets. Achieving this vision will provide many benefits including reducing our dependence on foreign oil, creating new jobs in rural America, saving consumers money, and bringing new technologies to the market. This resolution provides a path to do just that. The Agriculture Committee is fully committed to pursuing policies that will support this important renewable energy goal so we can turn the 25x’25 goal into a reality and move our country closer toward energy independence.