USDA Deputy Under Secretary Donald LaVoy and DOE Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes announced on October 24, 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the two departments to promote rural energy and the development of technologies to support and advance rural and agricultural communities and domestic manufacturing. Required under Section 6501 of the 2018 Farm Bill, the MOU is meant to improve collaboration and coordination between DOE and USDA. A number of areas are covered by the MOU, including:
- Streamlining, leveraging, and optimizing program resources;
- Strengthening energy-related infrastructure;
- Facilitating energy-related investments in rural communities;
- Ensuring affordable and reliable power;
- Offering technical assistance to rural communities;
- Encouraging innovation; and
- Helping rural businesses export energy products and manufactured goods around the globe.