Sens. Moran, Klobuchar, Ernst, Duckworth, Grassley Introduce Farm to Fly Act, Legislation to Expand Use of Biofuels for Aviation
Jan 22 2024
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Chuck Grassley today introduced legislation that would help accelerate the production and development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) through existing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs to allow further growth for alternative fuels to be used in the aviation sector and create new markets for American farmers.
The Farm to Fly Act would utilize current USDA programs to support the development of SAF, clarify federal definitions for SAF and enable greater collaboration between USDA and the private sector.
“Sustainable aviation fuel is a promising alternative fuel source that can provide new markets for farmers while increasing our domestic energy production and security,” said Sen. Moran. “This legislation would increase the accessibility of biofuel for commercial use and directly support rural America and its farmers, the agriculture industry and the aviation sector.”
“Alternative energies like sustainable aviation fuel create jobs in rural areas, bolster our national security, and reduce carbon emissions from air travel,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “This bipartisan bill with Senators Moran and Ernst will be another step forward in securing new markets for domestically produced biofuel.”
“As we work toward energy independence, the U.S. Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Technologies (GREET) model will play a key role in allowing homegrown, Iowa biofuel to meet the needs of the U.S. aviation industry while also creating new markets for biofuel producers,” said Sen. Ernst. “An investment in the development of sustainable aviation fuel is an investment in our national security, our environment, and our farmers.”
“One of the most important things we can do to make American aviation more sustainable is increase the supply of American-grown, American-made sustainable aviation fuel,” said Sen. Duckworth. “I’m proud to partner with Senators Moran, Klobuchar, Ernst and Grassley to introduce our bipartisan bill that will build off of my Sustainable Aviation Fuel Accuracy Act to increase USDA’s collaboration with the aviation biofuels sector and expand the market of sustainable aviation fuel, which would be a true win-win solution that supports domestic farmers and blenders while reducing our nation’s carbon footprint.”
“Embracing biofuels is positive for Iowa farmers and the environment,” said Sen. Grassley. “By expanding opportunities for investment in sustainable aviation fuels at the USDA, our bill aims to diversify and onshore American energy production while encouraging economic activity,"
Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Max Miller (R-Ohio), Nikki Budzinski (D-Ill), Angie Craig (D-Minn), Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas), Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa), Brad Finstad (R-Minn), Mike Flood (R-Neb) and Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa).
This legislation is also supported by a number of aviation, agriculture and energy leaders.
“The Kansas Corn Growers Association supports Senator Moran’s continued leadership in Sustainable Aviation Fuel with the Farm to Fly Act,” said Brent Rogers, President of the Kansas Corn Growers Association. “Corn-based ethanol can play a key role in Sustainable Aviation Fuel, and this legislation solidifies and strengthens our ongoing efforts with airline companies. Ethanol-based SAF would be a game-changer for corn and ethanol producers and the farm economy.”
"The National Sorghum Producers thank Senator Moran for the effort behind this legislation and the recognition that changes need to be within current law to allow flexibility for commodities to participate in the renewable fuels sector,” said Craig Meeker, Chairman of the National Sorghum Producers. “We look forward to working with Senator Moran and the Senate Agriculture leadership on a final product in the Farm Bill."
“Kansas soybean producers thank Senator Moran for his continued leadership on issues that impact Kansas farmers,” said Scott Gigstad, President of Kansas Soybean Association. “The Farm to Fly Act will be key to one of the newest soybean market opportunities really taking flight. As airlines look to reduce emissions, sustainably-grown Kansas soybeans will play a key role.”
“America’s farmers are well-positioned to supply sustainable agriculture feedstocks that will help scale production of the sustainable aviation fuel in demand by airlines today,” said Lindsay Fitzgerald, Vice President of Government Relations at Gevo. “The Farm to Fly Act recognizes agriculture is key to enabling cleaner flight, including using a data-driven tool to account for the benefits of farmers’ production practices with the Argonne GREET model. Gevo thanks Senators Jerry Moran, Amy Klobuchar and Joni Ernst for their leadership and supports this legislation that affirms the role of farmers in growing these new fuels.”
“The path to decarbonizing the skies runs right through America’s heartland,” said Emily Skor, Growth Energy CEO. “The Farm to Fly Act would allow our farmers to drive a wave of new investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). We thank Senators Moran, Klobuchar and Ernst for introducing this important legislation in the Senate and urge all lawmakers to get behind a bill that would position America as a leader in SAF and create new jobs in America’s rural communities.”
“RFA strongly supports the Farm to Fly Act, and we truly appreciate Sen. Moran—along with cosponsors Sens. Klobuchar and Ernst—and their effort to move forward this important legislation that creates more clarity and stability around the development of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) made from U.S. crops,” said Geoff Cooper, President & CEO, Renewable Fuels Association. “This bill helps position SAF for takeoff by ensuring the best available science and modeling tools are used to calculate the carbon benefits of homegrown renewable fuels.”
“Increased partnership with the agriculture sector is imperative as the aviation industry works to increase production of cost-competitive sustainable aviation fuels," said Airlines for America. "Airlines for America greatly appreciates Senators Moran, Klobuchar and Ernst’s leadership on this issue. This bill has a companion in the House, signaling the strong bipartisan, bicameral support for SAF development and expansion.”
"It is essential that we work to further bolster and strengthen the development of SAF, which plays a key role in decarbonizing aviation," said Pete Bunce, President and CEO of General Aviation Manufacturers Association. "The Farm to Fly Act would allow for greater production of SAF. We are grateful for the leadership of Senators Moran, Klobuchar, Ernst, Grassley and Duckworth for introducing and championing this important legislation."
The Farm to Fly Act would:
- Clarify eligibility for SAF within current USDA Bio-Energy Programs, expanding markets for American agricultural crops through aviation bioenergy;
- Provide for greater collaboration for aviation biofuels throughout USDA agency mission areas, increasing private sector partnerships; and
- Affirm a common definition of SAF for USDA purposes, as widely supported by industry to enable U.S. crops to most effectively contribute to aviation renewable fuels.
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