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  • The Office of Sen. Jerry Moran

Midwestern senators introduce Farm to Fly Act to expand use of biofuels for aviation

U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota; and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, introduced legislation Jan. 22 that would help accelerate the production and development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) through existing 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,” Moran said. “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.”


Klobuchar added, “Alternative energies like sustainable aviation fuel create jobs in rural areas, bolster our national security, and reduce carbon emissions from air travel. This bipartisan bill with Sens. Moran and Ernst will be another step forward in securing new markets for domestically produced biofuel.” 


Ernst said, “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. An investment in the development of sustainable aviation fuel is an investment in our national security, our environment and our farmers.”


Companion legislation was introduced in the House by a bipartisan group of representatives in November.


This legislation is also supported by a number of aviation, agriculture and energy leaders.


The Farm to Fly Act would:

  • Clarify eligibility for SAF within current USDA bioenergy 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

  • 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


“Corn-based ethanol can play a key role in sustainable aviation fuel, and this legislation solidifies and strengthens our ongoing efforts with airline companies,” said Brent Rogers, president of the Kansas Corn Growers Association. “Ethanol-based SAF would be a game-changer for corn and ethanol producers and the farm economy.”


Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, said, “The path to decarbonizing the skies runs right through America’s heartland. The Farm to Fly Act would allow our farmers to drive a wave of new investment in SAF. We … 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.”


Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, added the legislation “creates more clarity and stability around the development of SAF made from U.S. crops” and positions “SAF for takeoff by ensuring the best available science and modeling tools are used to calculate the carbon benefits of homegrown renewable fuels.”



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