Guymon Daily Herald

A historic time for energy investment­s

- By KENNETH CORN USDA Rural Developmen­t

When it comes to the seemingly constant wild weather changes, there is a right to be a concerned small business owner or agricultur­e producer here in rural Oklahoma. Thankfully the Biden-Harris Administra­tion is committed to not only working on the effects of climate change, but also blunting the rising costs of inflation.

You might be asking yourself if you’re a small business owner or rancher, “well how does that help me?” Through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), the president is investing millions of dollars right now here in Oklahoma for those eligible businesses and ag producers to upgrade in energy efficiency programs or install renewable energy systems. Both of which not only put more money in the pockets of our mom-and-pop establishm­ents in rural Oklahoma, but also have a positive net impact on the effects of climate change in our state as well.

In fact, I would argue there is no better time in Oklahoma for our businesses, farmers, and ranchers to look at the programs Rural Developmen­t can offer. This is because our Administra­tion is investing more money than ever before into rural Oklahoma, and it truly is a historic moment for my neighbors across Oklahoma to join in the potential to prosper from Rural Developmen­t programs.

Eligible stakeholde­rs can utilize a REAP grant for up to 40 percent of the cost of an eligible project. Items such as improved HVAC systems, lighting, refrigerat­ion units, and improved insulation can be used with this program to help lower energy costs. Additional­ly, if the business or

producer is interested in alternativ­e power sources like geothermal, solar or wind a REAP grant may be the perfect choice as well.

However, the time to act on these programs and invest in your rural community is now! Our State Office in Stillwater is accepting applicatio­ns for REAP until March 31. Don’t let that date or process scare you though. I want to make it as simple as possible for eligible business and ag stakeholde­rs to participat­e in this process. Email our REAP coordinato­r at or call 405-742-1070 and ask to speak to our REAP coordinato­r.

Don’t let this historic moment pass you by, because Rural Developmen­t here in Oklahoma has never been this committed to a more prosperous and united rural Oklahoma.

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