Skip to Content

Press Releases

Chair Antonio Delgado Opening Statement at Hearing on A Look at the Renewable Economy in Rural America

WASHINGTON House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit Chair Antonio Delgado delivered the following statement at today's hearing titled “A Look at the Renewable Economy in Rural America”

[As prepared for delivery]

Good Morning and thank you for joining us. Today we are here to talk about the renewable economy in rural America. From agricultural commodities used to produce biofuels or biobased products, to land used for wind and solar projects and efficiency increasing technologies like anaerobic digestors, rural communities are integral to the future of renewable energy. And as long as we have the right policies and supports in place, these communities stand to benefit greatly.

Renewable technologies and processes continue to develop and improve. As they do, it’s important that Congress ensure federal programs and incentives are effective and impactful for rural communities transitioning to renewable energy.

In today’s hearing, we will hear about the latest developments in the renewable economy, challenges that need to be addressed, and how rural America can continue to benefit from its growth. While creating more business and economic opportunities for rural areas is an important focus of today’s hearing, we cannot forget that residential energy affordability is still a real problem in rural America. Inefficient and outdated energy infrastructure means more costly energy bills for rural residents. We’ve seen a slower transition to renewable energy as it often proves too costly without outside support or incentives.

Our panel of witnesses will touch on all of these issues - the status of the biofuels and bio-based product industry and the financing, construction, and crafting of renewable energy projects that benefit rural communities. While the focus of our hearing is on the benefits strategic investments in the renewable economy provide rural America, the growth of this industry stands to have a substantial impact on the national and global economy, with some experts estimating the direct economic impact of bio-based products, services, and processes at up to $4 trillion per year, globally, over the next 10 years. Furthermore, the growth of the domestic renewable economy helps secure America’s energy future, reducing our reliance on petroleum imports and making the best use of our domestic resources.

The topic of today’s hearing is dynamic, multi-faceted, and timely. And, as the House Agriculture Committee begins work on the next Farm Bill, the discussion we have here today will be informative to that process.

Back to top