WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) have reintroduced bipartisan legislation to encourage investment in biodigester systems, while establishing a market for farmers who already have a surplus of waste materials that can be used for biogas production. Brown and Roberts’ bill, the Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act, will help expand the market for biogas by providing a 30 percent investment tax credit to help offset the upfront costs associated with building biodigester systems.
Right now, farmers across the country have a surplus of organic material like manure, food scraps, agricultural residue, wastewater solids and liquids. All of which can be used to produce biogas that can be used to produce heat, electricity, fuel and can be injected into natural gas pipelines. It can also be used to process wastewater up stream, which reduces runoff and containments that impact potable water in a number of communities, especially those around Lake Erie.
“Ohio farmers are struggling to safely dispose of livestock waste that could be used for renewable energy,” said Sen. Brown. “This legislation will encourage investment in the technology needed to convert these waste materials into natural gas that can be used to power households and businesses across the country.”
“This legislation promotes a commonsense way to turn waste into energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs and grow the economy,” said Sen. Roberts. “The Warrior Biogas project near Dodge City, Kansas is a shining example of what could happen across Kansas and America if we incentivize further development of these innovative technologies.”
Brown’s bill is supported by the American Biogas Council, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Ohio Farm Bureau.
“The Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act provides an advancement to sustainable agricultural technologies. When biogas systems recycle manure and the nutrients contained within, we have cleaner waterways, healthier soil and new commodities,” said Patrick Serfass, Executive Director of the American Biogas Council (ABC). “The ABC is very grateful for Senators Brown and Roberts continued leadership in sustainable agricultural. We believe this bill will incentivize greater investment in digester and nutrient recovery technologies which will create new jobs, promote sustainable farm practices, and protect our air, water and soil."
“We applaud Senator Brown for looking for proactive policy solutions for Ohio’s farmers. Having policies that support biodigesters helps promote on-farm technology and gives farmer’s another positive tool in advancing water quality solutions,” said Adam Sharp, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Farm Bureau.