Rural Communities Demonstrate Overwhelming Demand for Clean Energy & Climate-Smart Ag Investments

In response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) latest data release, which demonstrated an overwhelming demand for Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding, Evergreen Action Energy Transition Lead Mattea Mrkusic released the following statement:

“Our nation’s heartland will play a vital role in the clean energy transition. New data from USDA shows a staggering response to funding applications for rural electrification and climate-smart agriculture programs. Applications for the Empowering Rural America (New ERA) program alone totaled twice the $9.7 billion originally appropriated by Congress. Made possible by the IRA, these programs will provide clean electrification that’s affordable and reliable, support sustainable agriculture practices, and create good jobs fighting the climate crisis.

“Despite the overwhelming popularity of these programs, Congressional Republicans are trying to claw back funding in Farm Bill reauthorization negotiations and deprive rural communities of this critical investment. After decades of disinvestment, rural communities deserve a thriving, clean energy economy that will deliver jobs, justice, and resilience, not a backslide in support. Democrats in Congress must hold the line and protect every dollar for rural electrification and climate-smart agriculture in the Farm Bill.”

Last week, Evergreen Action released, “Why Congress Must Protect Climate-Smart Agriculture Programs in the 2023 Farm Bill,” a new report detailing how America’s farming communities are already benefiting from the $19.5 billion dollars in climate-smart agriculture investments amid threats from Congressional Republicans to use the 2023 Farm Bill reauthorization to revoke this popular and oversubscribed funding. You can read the full report here.