Biden administration makes clean energy investments in Pennsylvania farms - TAI News
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Solar panels near corn growing on Barb and Gerald Bauer’s farm, Aug. 20, 2021, near Faribault, Minnesota. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The Department of Agriculture announced on March 28 that it had made clean energy investments in 31 farms and businesses in Pennsylvania. The department said the more than $5.6 million sent to the state is part of President Joe Biden’s agenda to fight climate change while also growing the domestic economy.

“These projects will lower energy costs, generate new income and create jobs for Pennsylvanian’s farmers, agricultural producers and rural small businesses,” Bob Morgan, the USDA state director for rural development, said in a statement.

The projects that have been selected are spread across 12 counties. Many will involve the installation of solar panels to provide energy without the use of fossil fuels.

Among the recipients of funding are King’s Family Farm, a family-owned turkey farm in Atglen in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The department said that the farm will receive a grant of $128,200 that will be used to install a solar photovoltaic array that will provide the equivalent of enough energy to power 24 homes. The department estimates that the farm will save $35,000 per year on its electricity costs.

Another company, Cuz Excavating, provides Canton and the surrounding area in Bradford County with construction and demolition services. The company is expected to save $5,700 per year after its solar power system is installed, providing the company with enough energy to power the equivalent of four homes.

Funding for the projects comes from the Rural Energy for America Program, which received $2 billion in funding for clean energy investments from the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act.

In addition to the funds for Pennsylvania, the department announced that renewable energy and fertilizer production projects in a total of 44 states would receive grants in the current round.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the investments would spur the creation of well-paying jobs while also cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.

The Inflation Reduction Act faced united opposition from Republicans when it was being voted on in Congress, including no votes from all the Republicans in Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation. The law passed with only Democratic votes and a tie-breaking vote in the Senate from Vice President Kamala Harris.

Since then, Republicans have proposed repealing the law — including its provisions that have cut the cost of prescription drugs. One repeal bill, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2023, counts Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry among its co-sponsors, along with 23 other Republicans.

The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, and even if it were to pass, is not likely to be considered by the Senate, where Democrats have the majority.

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