By Lloyd Ritter, DWEA Representative
Welcome to the August (and part of September) Congressional recess, I guess. Congress left town last week with a load of work still to do, ranging from appropriations to the Farm Bill re-authorization. It’s going to get very interesting when they get back.
The challenge is the House majority is deeply fractured. The ag appropriations bill on July 27 had to be pulled at the last minute because of intra-party infighting over its content. So, we’ll have to see what September brings. Many are betting on another government shutdown.
So that’s the noise in D.C. of late. The upshot is while Congress has its many issues, we are still hard at work. There is always action, sometimes we go on offense, sometimes defense, or both.
Some examples: we are talking to lots of Congressional Members and their staff to fend off the House ag appropriations proposed $500 million in cuts to REAP, the elimination of cost-share grants in REAP, as well as $1 billion in cuts to New ERA (the rural electric coop program from the IRA). We worked with Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) and Reps. Abagail Spanberger (D-VA) and David Valadao (R-CA) on their very positive REAP “marker” legislation for the upcoming Farm Bill. We are also communicating with the Treasury Department regarding IRA implementation issues. And we’re developing a new effort with other like-minded distributed renewable leaders for a longer-term strengthening of our respective DER market segment.
Please keep in mind that Congressional Members head home this time of year, not just to vacation and be with their families but to do retail politicking with folks in their Districts. You’ll see them pop up in coffee shops and at community events. My request to you—monitor their whereabouts and if you have a chance, please talk to them and their staff about distributed wind power benefits and our policy issues. And when you do, ping me a quick note. Knowledge is power!
Hope you are enjoying the summer and looking forward to more success in the weeks ahead!