Recent Press Releases

Thune Named Ranking Member on Senate Agriculture Energy Subcommittee

Thune Also Named to Forestry Subcommittee

July 13, 2009

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today announced his subcommittee assignments for the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee for the 111th Congress. Senator Thune will serve as the ranking Republican member of the Science, Energy, and Technology Subcommittee. He will also sit on the Rural Revitalization, Conservation, Forestry, and Credit Subcommittee, as well as the Production, Income Protection, and Price Support Subcommittee.

"I am pleased to continue my work on the Senate Agriculture Committee, where I worked in helping to write last year's Farm Bill and in other important agricultural initiatives," said Thune. "Agriculture is South Dakota's largest industry, and I will use these subcommittee assignments to advocate for South Dakota's many producers.

"I am especially happy to continue serving as the Ranking Member of the Science, Energy, and Technology Subcommittee. South Dakota's producers are already taking important steps to increase renewable energy production, and I will continue working to promote homegrown energy."

The 2008 Farm Bill included the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was authored by Senator Thune from his Ranking Member position on the Energy Subcommittee. BCAP provides matching payments to producers for energy-dedicated non-food crops and provides incentives for the construction of cellulosic ethanol refineries. In April 2007, Senator Thune hosted an Energy Subcommittee hearing in Brookings, South Dakota, on the topic of advanced biofuel production. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that the first phase of BCAP is now available for producers participating in renewable energy projects.

The Forestry Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the U.S. Forest Service. Last week, Senator Thune unveiled a plan to address the pine beetle infestation that is claiming an increasing number of acres in the Black Hills National Forest. Senator Thune's plan calls for more aggressive forestry harvest targets and implementation of programs to convert forest waste into biofuels. In 2008, Senator Thune hosted an Energy Subcommittee hearing in Rapid City, South Dakota, on the topic of renewable energy production from federal forestland biomass.

Information on Senator Thune's Subcommittee Assignments:

Subcommittee on Energy, Science and Technology
Jurisdiction: Legislation and oversight involving renewable energy production and energy efficiency improvement on farms and ranches and in rural communities; food and agricultural research, education, economics and extension; innovation in the use of agricultural commodities and materials.

Subcommittee on Rural Revitalization, Conservation, Forestry, and Credit
Jurisdiction: Rural economic revitalization and quality of life; rural job and business growth; rural electrification, telecommunications and utilities; conservation, protection and stewardship of natural resources; state, local and private forests and general forestry; agricultural and rural credit.

Subcommittee on Production, Income Protection and Price Support
Jurisdiction: Legislation and oversight involving the production of agricultural crops, commodities and products; farm and ranch income protection and assistance; commodity price support programs; insurance and risk protection; fresh water food production.