As expected, President Barack Obama has signed the farm bill, which passed the House and Senate on a bipartisan basis with the energy title intact. The legislation includes the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which offers grants and loans to rural businesses and agricultural producers for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, including solar and small wind power systems.
In his remarks before signing the bill into law, Obama told a crowd at Michigan State University that the legislation was a"Swiss Army knife," of tools for jobs, innovation, infrastructure, research and conservation. He singled out Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, for praise for shepherding the farm bill through her joint committee in a form that was acceptable to a majority in the recalcitrant House of Representatives.
The House passed the bill on Jan. 29, and the Senate followed suit on Feb. 4.