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USDA invests $633 million in climate-smart infrastructure for rural areas
This aims to reduce the impacts of climate change on rural communities and will be granted to individuals and businesses, including those in the livestock industry.
The USDA has invested $633 million to reduce the effects of climate change on rural communities.
According to an organizational release, the Biden-Harris administration has prioritized investing in rural communities, providing good-paying jobs, and combatting climate crisis through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and as part of the broader Build Back Better agenda.
“Rural America is on the front lines of climate change, and our communities deserve investments that will strengthen all of our resilience,” Tom Vilsack, USDA secretary, said.
“President Biden has created a roadmap for how we can tackle the climate crisis and expand access to renewable energy infrastructure, all while creating good-paying jobs and saving people money on their energy costs. With the Build Back Better agenda, USDA will be able to fund more and more critical projects like those announced…in the coming months and years,” he added.
Vilsack emphasized 791 investments that the USDA is making in 5 programs specially designed to help individuals and businesses in rural areas address economic development, infrastructure, and social services needs, include: Community Facilities Disaster Grants, Electric Loan Program, Rural Energy for America Program, Rural Energy Savings Program, and the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program.
The funding, which will be gifted to people in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, aims to help build and enhance rural electric infrastructure and connect residents to affordable, dependable power. In addition, the funding will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses including those in the livestock industries buy and install renewable energy systems and foster energy efficiency enhancements. It will also contribute to transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities providing higher ethanol and biodiesel blends to customers by sharing the costs to install fuel pumps, equipment and infrastructure, according to the release.
Vilsack made the announcement of this investment from Saubel’s Markets in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, which will receive a $103,413 USDA Rural Energy for America Program grant. The family-owned grocery store operating since the 1960s will use the funding to install solar panels on its roof. This project is projected to save $30,852 annually and will replace 395,539-kilowatt hours per year—enough energy to power 36 homes per year. It was announced that Pennsylvania will receive more than $1 million for 22 projects statewide.
Learn about more of the projects nationwide and more on the topic at the USDA’s website.
USDA invests $633 million in climate-smart and resilient infrastructure for people in rural communities. US Department of Agriculture. News release. December 3, 2021. Accessed December 13, 2021. https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2021/12/03/usda-invests-633-million-climate-smart-and-resilient-infrastructure