Farmers union leader applauds expansion of clean energy research funding

U.S. research and development funding for clean energy initiatives would double from $6.8 billion to $12.8 billion in the next five years.
U.S. research and development funding for clean energy initiatives would double from $6.8 billion to $12.8 billion in the next five years. | File photo

President Barack Obama has solidified his commitment to double clean energy by announcing at the beginning of this week the research and development funding for clean energy initiatives would double from $6.8 billion to $12.8 billion in the next five years.

After the announcement, the National Farmers Union (NFU) showed its support for Obama’s announcement. The announcement is important because public sector research investments have been stagnant for over 30 years, but private sector investments are on the rise.

“Public research funding that recognizes the special energy needs and potential contributions of American agriculture is absolutely critical for adapting to climate change and mitigating its effects on farmers and ranchers,” NFU President Roger Johnson said. “I believe this plan is a meaningful step in lessening the impacts of climate change and in growing the U.S. economy. I am pleased by the president’s ambitious leadership to ramp up public R&D funding.”

The announcement also affects how the rest of the world budgets for clean energy funding. Johnson believes it will inspire the 20 countries that agreed to double their governments’ investments as Obama did through the Mission Innovation initiative originating in Paris last year.

In the fiscal year 2017, $1.8 billion will be used for fundamental energy science research.

“We are hopeful for bipartisan support in Congress of these important research investments that benefit rural America and promote food security,” Johnson said.

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National Farmers Union

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