Congressman Max Miller Introduces the Farm to Fly Act to Expand Markets for U.S. Agriculture and Strengthen American Energy, Joined by Reps. Flood, Craig, Finstad, Budzinski, Hinson, Crockett, and Feenstra

Nov 07, 2023
Agriculture
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Max Miller (OH-07) today introduced the bipartisan Farm to Fly Act to create new, robust markets for American agricultural products and to strengthen domestic energy resources. Miller was joined by Representatives Mike Flood (NE-01), Angie Craig (MN-02), Brad Finstad (MN-01), Nikki Budzinski (IL-13), Ashley Hinson (IA-02), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), and Randy Feenstra (IA-04) as original cosponsors. 

The bill, which has strong support from the Ohio and national agriculture industries, as well as the aviation industry, would foster the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) within existing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, allow for greater collaboration, and ensure USDA’s SAF definitions reflect eligibility for American agricultural crops. 

“The Farm to Fly Act is important for three main reasons: it will provide access to new markets for our nation’s farmers, it will drive rural economic development, and it will strengthen our domestic energy resources,” said Congressman Miller. “I’m grateful for the close collaboration between my colleagues, Ohio and American agricultural producers, and the aviation industry, and I look forward to beating the drum until we see this one through for our farmers and rural communities.” 

Strong Support for Farm to Fly Legislation on Capitol Hill: 

“Expanding opportunities for biofuels will not only help family farmers across the country but will also help connect more American businesses with homegrown clean energy,” said Congressman Flood. “Making the eligibility criteria for Sustainable Aviation Fuels at the U.S. Department of Agriculture clearer is a great step forward on this journey. Thank you to Congressman Miller for your leadership on the Farm to Fly Act, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move this commonsense legislation quickly.”  

“Expanding Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production is a win-win for Minnesota’s agriculture communities, economy, and environment,” said Congresswoman Craig. “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,” said Congressman Finstad. “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.” 

“By utilizing sustainable aviation fuel, we can cut harmful emissions, support family farmers and reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources,” said Congresswoman Budzinski. “I’m proud to join Congressman Max Miller in introducing the bipartisan Farm to Fly Act that will allow homegrown biofuels to power our aviation sector while supporting growth in rural economies. With this bill we can empower the USDA to drive a sustainable future for our aviation industry.” 

“Airlines have committed to transitioning their fleets to Sustainable Aviation Fuel, and now we must act to give American Agriculture the tools it needs to rise to the occasion,” said Congresswoman Crockett. “Despite a growing market for SAF, the US is not currently producing enough SAF to meet the increasing demand. To address this, the Farm to Fly Act stands up a new initiative at USDA to ensure the agency is working to advance SAF across all its mission areas. I am proud to join Reps. Miller, Flood, Craig, Finstad, Budzinski, Hinson and Feenstra to build out Sustainable Aviation Fuel production capacity to meet rising demand for decades to come.” 

“Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is the future of air travel. By converting agricultural biomass into airplane fuel, we can support Iowa farmers, reduce emissions by up to 94% compared to standard jet fuels, and use American energy – instead of foreign oil – to power our planes and safely transport passengers,” said Congressman Feenstra. “I’m excited to help introduce the Farm to Fly Act with my Midwestern colleagues to include SAF in USDA bio-energy programs, enhance public-private partnerships to advance SAF adoption and research, and utilize the GREET model to accurately measure the impact of SAF on emissions reductions. Representing the top biofuels-producing district in Congress, I know that Iowa has the unlimited potential to grow and produce our world’s future fuels, and this legislation will help us achieve this important goal.” 

Strong Support for Farm to Fly Legislation from Industry: 

“Sustainable Aviation Fuels represent another significant future market opportunity for Ohio soybean growers. Congressman Miller’s bill will help drive support of SAF research and development and enhance our ability to produce home-grown fuels to power our economy.” Patrick Knouff, President, Ohio Soybean Association 

“Congressman Miller gets it – meeting the opportunities for the future requires unleashing the energy and innovative spirit of American farmers, Ohio’s corn farmers already produce clean, renewable fuels, and sustainable aviation fuel will build on that proven record.  The Farm to Fly Act is a commonsense approach, and I’m grateful Congressman Miller is championing Ohio agriculture once again.” John Settlemyre, “Farmer & Pilot,” President,Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association 

“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 Illinois farmer and American Soybean Association President Daryl Cates. “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.” American Soybean Association 

“Airlines for America welcomes the Farm to Fly Act of 2023. Increasing the production of cost-competitive sustainable aviation fuels is a priority for our member carriers, and provisions in this bill will help support increased production in partnership with America’s farmers and the agriculture sector.”Airlines for America

“Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) strongly supports the Farm to Fly Act. 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,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “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.” Renewable Fuels Association. 

Endorsements:

  • Agriculture Industry: Ohio Soybean Association; Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association; and American Soybean Association. 
  • Fuels America which includes: National Corn Growers Association, Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, Bayer, National Biodiesel Board, Archer Daniels Midland Company, 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.  
  • Airline Industry: Airlines for America; Alaska Airlines; American Airlines; Atlas Air; Delta Air Lines; Southwest Airlines; United Airlines; Jet Blue Airlines; and General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

Specifically, the Farm to Fly Act would: 

  • Clarify eligibility for Sustainable Aviation Fuels within current U.S. Department of Agriculture Bio-Energy Programs expanding markets for American agricultural crops through aviation bioenergy; 
  • Provide for greater collaboration for aviation biofuels throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture agency mission areas, increasing private sector partnerships; and 
  • Affirm a common definition of SAF for USDA purposes, as widely supported by industry and congressional leaders to enable U.S. crops to most effectively contribute to aviation renewable fuels. 

The text of the bill is here.
 

A one-pager is here

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Editor’s Note: 

Congressman Max Miller represents Ohio’s Seventh District which includes Medina and Wayne counties as well as parts of Cuyahoga and Holmes counties. Miller sits on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the House Agriculture Committee. Before joining Congress, Miller spent six years in the Marine Corps Reserves and served in several senior positions for President Donald Trump. Please visit maxmiller.house.gov for more information.

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