Erin Voegele Biomass Magazine
Moran Introduces Farm To Fly Act
January 23, 2024
  • Share
  • Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.; and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Jan. 22 introduced the Farm to Fly Act, a bill that aims to accelerate the production and development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Companion legislation was introduced by Rep. Max Miller, R-Ohio, and colleagues in November 2023.

    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.

    The bill specifically clarifies eligibility for SAF within current USDA bioenergy programs—including the agency’s Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Biobased Products Manufacturing Assistance Program, the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, and the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels—expanding markets for U.S. agricultural crops through aviation bioenergy. It also provides for greater collaboration for aviation biofuels throughout USDA agency mission areas, increasing private sector partnerships. In addition, the bill affirms a common definition of SAF for USDA purposes, including the use of the U.S. Department of Energy’s GREET model to measure lifecycle emissions. Bill language regarding the SAF definition is based the text of the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Accuracy Act, which was introduced in the U.S. Senate in June 2023 and the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2023. 

    The Renewable Fuels Association is thanking Moran and his colleagues for introducing the bipartisan bill, which promotes the use of ethanol for SAF. “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 and CEO of the RFA. “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.”

    Growth Energy has spoken out in support of the bill. “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.”

    Biorefining company Gevo also supports the Farm to Fly Act. “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.”