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Growing energy on the farm: biomass and agriculture

Tripling U.S. use of biomass for energy could provide as much as $20 billion in new income for farmers and rural communities and reduce global warming emissions by the same amount as taking 70 million cars off the road.

Many farmers already produce biomass energy by growing corn to make ethanol. But biomass energy comes in many forms. Virtually all plants and organic wastes can be used to produce heat, power, or fuel.

Biomass energy has the potential to supply a significant portion of America's energy needs, while revitalizing rural economies, increasing energy independence, and reducing pollution. Farmers would gain a valuable new outlet for their products. Rural communities could become entirely self-sufficient when it comes to energy, using locally grown crops and residues to fuel cars and tractors and to heat and power homes and buildings.

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August 11, 2014
By Union of Concerned Scientists

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