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Franken, Harkin introduce REAP reauthorization

Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Thursday introduced legislation that would reauthorize the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), National Farmers Union said in a news release.

“We commend Sens. Franken and Harkin on introducing this bill to reauthorize REAP, which provides grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects,” NFU President Roger Johnson said.

“Already a successfully program, this bill simplifies the application process and increases technological diversity,” Johnson said. “REAP is incredibly popular, and demand for funding far outpaces available resources by nearly a 3-to-1 margin. REAP creates jobs in rural America because it leverages private capital for rural energy projects.”

Johnson also noted that, according to USDA, REAP leveraged $4 of private funding for every federal dollar spent in 2011. “Since 2003, REAP has saved or created approximately 21,688 jobs,” he said.