FARM Act Reintroduced
Earlier this month, U.S. House lawmakers reintroduced the Future Agriculture Retention and Management Act, better known as the FARM Act. Republican Representative, Wisconsin’s Tom Tiffany said the legislation would eliminate energy tax subsidies for solar panels and wind arrays on agricultural lands.
“This idea was generated by a local farmer in western Wisconsin who came to me and said, hey, these really rich subsidies that the federal government is putting out is causing farmers to say we're going to go to wind and solar rather than growing food, and I don't think that's a good public policy for Americans to have these rich subsidies that are paid for by the taxpayers go to wealthy developers and it sidelines productive agricultural land. We need to be growing as much food as we possibly can. Take a look at the grocery stores these days, or the price of food, it continues to go up. You look at some other countries that are having a hard time feeding their population, we need to make sure that one of our number one priorities is to make sure that we have good robust agricultural production.”
Under the legislation, wind and solar developers will not receive the subsides if they remove agricultural land from production.
“So, you can build it if you want to. you just don't get the subsidies. it's $50,000 an acre, the subsidy, so you have this artificial means, that is incentivizing farmers to make a decision that I don't think is in the best interests of our country. So, you can do this if you want to, under our bill, you just don't get the subsidy, and as a result is a subsidy going away most of those facilities would go away.”
According to the Department of Agriculture, since 2014, U.S. Farmland acreage has decreased by over 13.62 million acres, amounting to an average loss of over 1.9 million acres per year.
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