The House of Representatives today passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which includes $40 billion in agricultural provisions. Intended to address growing public concerns about climate change, the bill provides funds for voluntary, conservation programs, biofuel infrastructure, and debt relief for farmers and ranchers through the United States.
The bill was a Democrat-led initiative, and House members voted 220-207 to advance it, with no Republicans signing on in support. The measure has already passed the Senate, so it now heads to President Joe Biden for his signature.
Brooke S. Appleton, vice president of public policy at the National Corn Growers’ Association, said, “We appreciate Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and the other members of the Senate Agriculture Committee who worked to include provisions in the legislation that will support farmers as they provide solutions that address climate change. From cleaner, low-carbon fuels, like ethanol and sustainable aviation fuel, to on-farm practices that improve soil health, corn growers are on the front lines of the fight to cut carbon emissions and improve our energy security.”
In a news release following the passage, National Farmers Union President Rob Larew said, “The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act is cause for optimism for farmers and ranchers across the country, with historic investments in voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs that are critically underfunded. NFU is proud to see investment in biofuels infrastructure that will help farmers’ bottom line and help consumers save at the pump. The inclusion of financial support for economically distressed farmers and ranchers is also a welcome addition that will help keep farmers on their land for years to come.”
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement on the passage, “The Inflation Reduction Act will provide significant support for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners as they care for our precious land, adapt and mitigate climate change and ensure America remains a food secure nation. With historic investments in a clean energy economy, the Inflation Reduction Act will create good-paying jobs and more economic opportunity in rural communities across the country. Rural Americans will see lower utility bills and appreciate the fiscally responsible way the law lowers deficits. The Inflation Reduction Act will also lower costs for seniors, who make up a higher percentage of rural populations than more urban areas, by capping their annual out of pocket costs at the pharmacy and giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices.”
Further breakdown of agricultural investments includes $20 billion in funding to support expansion of the conservation practices, and $500 million to help provide greater access to biofuels.
The nearly $20 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs allocates funds for the following programs:
- $8.45 billion for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program
- $6.75 billion for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program
- $3.25 billion for the Conservation Stewardship Program
- $1.4 billion for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
To advance biofuels, the legislation includes:
- $500 million for infrastructure for greater market deployment of higher blends of biofuels
- New tax credits based on carbon reduction to incentivize clean fuels such as biofuels like ethanol and new sustainable aviation fuel