Miller introduces Farm to Fly Act

By Erin Voegele | November 07, 2023

Rep. Max Miller, R-Ohio, on Nov. 7 introduced the bipartisan Farm to Fly Act, which aims to create new markets for U.S. agricultural products and strengthen domestic production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

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. 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 and the U.S. House of Representatives in July.

Bill cosponsors include Reps. Mike Flood, R-Neb.; Angie Craig, D-Minn.; Brad Finstad, R-Minn.; Nikki Budzinski, D-Ill.; Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa; Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas; and Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa. The legislation is endorsed by Fuels America, an organization that includes National Corn Growers Association, Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, Bayer, Clean Fuels Alliance America, Archer Daniels Midland Co., National Farmers Union, Green Plains, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Advanced Biofuels Business Council, National Association of Wheat Growers, American Council on Renewable Energy, DSM Company, American Security Project, Clean Fuels Development Coalition, and National Sorghum Producers. Several airline companies and groups have also endorsed the bill, including Airlines for America, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Jet Blue Airlines, and General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

“Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) strongly supports the Farm to Fly Act,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the RFA. “We applaud the determined efforts of Rep. Miller—along with cosponsors Reps. Flood, Craig, Finstad, Budzinski, Crockett, Hinson, and Feenstra—to introduce this important legislation, which creates more clarity and stability around the development of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) made from U.S. crops. By ensuring the best available science and modeling tools are used to calculate the carbon benefits of homegrown renewable fuels, this bill helps position SAF for takeoff.”  

“Sustainable aviation fuel is positioned to be an exciting new market opportunity for soybean farmers. The Administration will need a cross-agency approach to realize its goals of carbon reductions in air travel and The Farm to Fly Act will help position the agriculture industry in a meaningful role to support these endeavors,” said Daryl Cates, and Illinois farmer and president of the American Soybean Association. “This legislation identifies key strategies for USDA to partner with airlines and farmers to develop sustainable aviation fuel in an efficient and climate-smart way.” 

Additional information on the bill is available on Miller’s website.