Sen. Klobuchar co-introduces Farm to Fly Act to expand use of biofuels for aviation

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has joined four fellow senators in introducing 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 use current USDA programs to support the development of SAF, clarify federal definitions for SAF and enable greater collaboration between USDA and the private sector.

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

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.

“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.”

Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Brad Finstad and Angie Craig, along with Reps. Max Miller (R-Ohio), Nikki Budzinski (D-Ill), Angie Craig (D-Minn), Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas), Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa), Mike Flood (R-Neb) and Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa).

“Expanding Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production is a win-win for Minnesota’s agriculture communities, economy and environment,” Rep. Craig said. “That’s why I’m introducing the bipartisan Farm to Fly Act with my colleagues Reps. Max Miller, Brad Finstad and Mike Flood to ensure the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working to support the expansion of the SAF market in Minnesota.”

“Sustainable Aviation Fuel continues to be a promising market for our ag producers and brings greater opportunity for U.S. farmers to partner with the aviation sector,” Rep. Finstad said. “I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation, which develops new markets for Minnesota farmers, opens the door to future opportunities for rural economic development, and strengthens American energy independence with fuel grown right here at home.”

This legislation is also supported by a number of aviation, agriculture and energy leaders, including the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association.

“We are fortunate in Minnesota to have so many of our congressional leaders supporting biofuels and the growing Sustainable Aviation Fuel market,” said MSGA President Bob Worth, who visited with Rep. Craig in late January 2023. “By promoting fuels that we can produce right here at home, we can help our environment and economy.”

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