There’s a new market on the horizon for Ohio’s feedstock crops — Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). And a friend of Ohio farmers is getting the needed regulations off the ground.
A new bill recently introduced by Congressman Max Miller, call the the Farm to Fly Act, will solidify the regulatory groundwork for SAF in America. Congressman Miller represents Ohio’s District 7 in Congress, serves on the House Agriculture Committee, and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee in Washington, D.C.
In a nutshell, the Farm to Fly Act will encourage the use of biofuels for aviation travel, establish a comprehensive way to measure the sustainability of those fuels, and determine appropriate incentives for the use of biofuels. It establishes the Greenhouse Gas Regulated Emissions in Energy Use and Transportation (GREET) model of giving Carbon Intensity scores, which are important to airline companies when evaluating their sustainability.
Consumers want greener air travel, and the airlines want to give it to them. SAF even works well in current plane engines, and future engines can be optimized further for higher blends. A ticket powered by SAF with lower greenhouse gas emissions is a winning combination for farmers, consumers, and corporations.
So why is this legislation necessary? Because if we don’t establish a nationwide scoring system for Carbon intensity, different agencies can use different models. For example, take the European standard, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) model. It has some major issues. It doesn’t account for modern agriculture practices and leaves out a huge chunk of information.
The GREET model is different. It measures from seed to tailpipe. GREET takes into account practices like cover crops and tillage. It can be updated every year, and accounts for every part of the energy generation process. It considers the coal that needs to be fired to make the electricity for electric vehicles (but we won’t go there today). GREET encourages research and development, and works within the current department structure.
Basically, The Farm to Fly Act will increase demand for Ohio crops by promoting SAF.
The Farm to Fly Act has support from Ohio Corn & Wheat, the Ohio Soybean Association, the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, Fuels America, Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, and Airlines for America. It is co-sponsored by Representatives Mike Flood of Nebraska, Angie Craig and Brad Finstad of Minnesota, Nikki Budzinski of Illinois, Ashley Hinson and Randy Feenstra of Iowa, and Jasmine Crockett of Texas.
If you don’t see your Congressional Representatives name on that list, make sure to call them and encourage them to sign on. If you do see your representative, call them to say thank you. This is a huge market opportunity that we can’t let fly by.