Tag Archives: USDA Rural Development / Nebraska

Government Spending Bill Is Signed into Law: What You Need to Know

By Alexandra Adams, Natural Resources Defense Council

[Last] Tuesday, President Biden signed into law a $1.5 trillion bill, referred to as an “omnibus” spending bill, that funds the government through September and also provides billions in assistance for Ukraine. The omnibus funding bill passed the Senate in a 68-to-31 vote last week, a day after it received strong bipartisan support in the House of Representatives. Here’s why this is so important: Read more here.

Referenced in the article: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Biden mid-November, 2021.

Department of Energy Program Offices
The following are just several of DOE’s Program Offices. Find links to information about all DOE program offices and funding opportunities at the above link. The descriptions, below, are the Department of Energy’s. 

OFFICE OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.
Funding Opportunities

LOAN PROGRAMS OFFICE
The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs enable DOE to work with private companies and lenders to mitigate the financing risks associated with clean energy projects, and thereby encourage their development on a broader and much-needed scale.

The Loan Programs consist of three separate programs managed by two offices, the Loan Guarantee Program Office (LGP) and the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program Office. LPO originates, guarantees, and monitors loans to support clean energy projects through these programs.

OFFICE OF SCIENCE
The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science is the lead federal agency supporting fundamental scientific research for energy and the Nation’s largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences. The Office of Science portfolio has two principal thrusts: direct support of scientific research and direct support of the development, construction, and operation of unique, open-access scientific user facilities. Scroll down to view Funding News.

OFFICE OF INDIAN ENERGY POLICY AND PROGRAMS
The Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs is authorized to fund and implement a variety of programmatic activities that assist American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native villages with energy development, capacity building, energy cost reduction, and electrification of Indian lands and homes.
Funding Opportunities

OFFICE OF ELECTRICITY
The Office of Electricity (OE) provides national leadership to ensure that the Nation’s energy delivery system is secure, resilient and reliable. OE works to develop new technologies to improve the infrastructure that brings electricity into our homes, offices, and factories, and the federal and state electricity policies and programs that shape electricity system planning and market operations.
Priority: Building a Better Grid Initiative

COMPREHENSIVE GRID LEGISLATION: THE CHARGE ACT

Senator Markey Introduces Sweeping Legislation To Create 21st Century Electric Grid,
News Release, Office of Senator Edward J. Markey

 The CHARGE Act would establish critical electricity infrastructure needed
to improve reliability, lower costs for ratepayers, spur clean energy innovation

Washington (March 17, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and co-chair of the Senate Climate Task Force, today introduced the Connecting Hard-to-reach Areas with Renewably Generated Energy (CHARGE) Act, comprehensive legislation that would lay the groundwork for America’s clean energy revolution. The legislation positions the United States to proactively plan and build a reliable and resilient energy grid across broad regions of the country, to bridge the gap between the supply of renewable energy and the cities and towns that need energy access. 

The CHARGE Act is endorsed by Public Citizen, Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), New Consensus, Grid Strategies, and Digital Climate Action. A copy of the legislation can be found HERE and a one-page summary HERE

DOE NEWS RELEASE

DOE Releases Action Plan For Photovoltaic Systems End-Of-Life Management, March 18, 2022

The five-year-strategy aims to halve the cost of recycling and reduce the
environmental impact of solar energy modules at end-of-life 

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released an action plan to enable the safe and responsible handling of photovoltaic (PV) end-of-life (EOL) materials. The activities outlined in the plan will reduce the environmental impact of solar energy while supporting the Biden Administration’s goal to decarbonize the electricity grid by 2035.  

As solar deployment rapidly increases, more PV components will reach the end of their useful life and enter the waste stream. Although 95% of a PV module is recyclable, the current economics of EOL handling are unfavorable to recycling. The cost to recycle PV modules is significantly higher than the landfill fee. Establishing safe, responsible, and economic EOL practices will support greater deployment of solar energy.

Learn more about DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office here.
Funding Opportunities

USDA NEWS RELEASE

Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) Grants
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is soliciting applications for grants that will advance equity in rural America by creating new opportunities in distressed communities. The Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) Grant Program offers funding to create and augment high-wage jobs, accelerate the formation of new businesses, support industry clusters, and maximize the use of local productive assets in eligible low-income rural areas. RISE grant funds can be used to:

  • Build or support a business incubator facility
  • Provide worker training to support new job creation
  • Train the existing workforce to build skills for higher-paying jobs
  • Develop a base of skilled workers and improve their opportunities to obtain high-wage jobs in new or existing local industries.

Apply by April 19, 2022. 

Additional USDA Resources

Featured USDA Energy Programs

From The White House TodayA Proclamation on National Agriculture Day, 2022
On National Agriculture Day, we recognize the invaluable contributions of American farmers, farmworkers, ranchers, fishers, foresters, and other agricultural workers, who have practiced their craft for generations and touch the lives of Americans every day. Their tireless efforts growing crops, raising livestock, and distributing food, fuel, and fiber sustain America and the entire world.  They put meals on our plates, clothes on our backs, and roofs over our heads.  Along the way, America’s agricultural workers serve as stewards of the land; ensure the safety and health of animals, plants, and people; and strengthen our rural communities with economic opportunities.

Kate Bolz Begins Term as State Director USDA RD Nebraska

USDA News Release

LINCOLN, Neb.– State Director Kate Bolz took her oath of office here Monday, beginning her appointment by the Biden-Harris Administration to oversee the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development for Nebraska. The oath was administered virtually to twelve new officials across the United States from Washington D.C. due to COVID protocols.

In her new role, Bolz will oversee the administration of Rural Development programs in the state including grants and loans to individuals, families, businesses, organizations, and municipalities in rural areas in need of single-family housing, multi-family housing, repair, renewable energy, water and environmental programs, broadband extension, and telecommunications/ infrastructure improvements. Continue reading here.

Recent USDA News Releases & Select Resources

Ag groups recommend USDA use pilot projects to build a carbon bank

AgDaily

The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance, which includes 70 agriculture organizations, has worked over the past three months to develop specific recommendations for how the U.S. Department of Agriculture should approach a potential carbon bank. FACA began sharing those recommendations with USDA and Congress.

A voluntary, USDA-led carbon bank is one policy mechanism being considered to help reduce barriers that producers and landowners face to participating in voluntary carbon markets and adopting climate-smart practices. FACA recommends that USDA lay the foundation for a potential carbon bank by first developing a series of pilot projects that would focus on the following four areas: Continue reading here.

USDA INVESTS IN RESEARCH INNOVATIONS

USDA Invests $21.7M in Research Innovations to Improve Soil Health and Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2021 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will invest at least $21.7 million in several key programs to help agricultural producers manage the impacts of climate change on their lands and production. NIFA awarded $6.3 million for 14 Soil Health grants and $5.4 million for seven Signals in the Soil grants through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). NIFA also is investing at least $10 million this year in a new AFRI program area priority called, “Extension, Education, and USDA Climate Hub Partnerships,” to train the next generation of agriculturalists and foresters to incorporate climate change research into their management practices.

About USDA’s Northern Plains Climate Hub
The Northern Plains Hub serves Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The Hub delivers science-based knowledge, practical information, management & conservation strategies, and decision tools to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners with the goal of helping them adapt to weather variability and changing climatic conditions. See::Topics

MORE NEWS RELEASES: USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT / NEBRASKA 

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