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Skelton: Show-Me Energy Cooperative to be first in USDA biomass program
Skelton: Show-Me Energy Cooperative to be first in USDA biomass program

Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 31, 2009) — Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) selected Show Me Energy Cooperative in Centerview as America's first participant in the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, commonly referred to as BCAP. Created under the 2008 Farm Bill, the Biomass Crop Assistance Program will provide payments to farmers for the collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible biomass crops to designated biomass conversion facilities. Producers must live in areas around biomass facilities to qualify for payments.

"I am extremely pleased that USDA has chosen Show Me Energy Cooperative in Centerview, Missouri, as the first biomass conversation facility in the United States to receive payments for the new BCAP program. This cooperative has established itself as a national model in the area of renewable energy development, a model that should be encouraged by the federal government and eventually replicated throughout the American countryside," said Skelton.

Since the 2008 Farm Bill was signed into law, Show Me Energy Cooperative Board President Steve Flick and other leaders of Show Me Energy Cooperative have been working with Skelton and Sen. Claire McCaskill to convince USDA that the cooperative was an ideal candidate for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. In August, Skelton hosted Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during a visit to the cooperative to receive first-hand knowledge about Show Me Energy Cooperative's renewable energy capacity.

"I feel the August meeting with Secretary Vilsack was extremely productive for the cooperative," Skelton said. "Enhancing economic opportunities and creating jobs in rural Missouri have been key priorities for me during my time in Congress. This is why I have been particularly supportive of the growth and development of renewable energy technologies throughout small town America. And, it is precisely why I worked with my colleagues from other rural areas to ensure this kind of renewable energy innovation could benefit from the clean energy bill that passed out of the House earlier this year.

"With just a little support from the federal government, these renewable energy technologies have the potential to flourish rapidly and to turn our nation in a new energy direction: one that boosts economic activity in rural America, that creates good paying small town jobs, that enhances national security, and that reduces harmful air pollution," said Skelton.

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at http://www.house.gov/skelton.

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