Biofuel Industry: Vice President Joe Biden is considering the biofuel industry’s proposal to make climate law funding easier. Corn-ethanol aviation fuel is environmentally friendly. Environmentalists are pressuring the government for more sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
To receive tax incentives, SAF manufacturers must demonstrate using a scientific model that their fuel generates at least 50% fewer greenhouse gases than petroleum fuel over its lifecycle. Midwest ethanol producers and environmentalists want the government to prioritize recycled cooking oil and pig fat. Midwest ethanol producers favor ethanol-based SAF.
EPA, USDA, and DOE disagree on the model. John Podesta, White House Climate Czar, must settle it. The administration wants ethanol in its SAF strategy and modeling challenge agreement. EPA, USDA, and DOE have not commented.
The administration decides which nonprofits get the program’s big money. September marks the announcement.
The Biden administration seeks 3 billion gallons of SAF by 2030—a transportation carbon reduction scheme. By 2050, the Little SAF company should supply all 35 billion gallons of aviation gasoline.
The biofuels lobby, supported by airlines and lawmakers from agricultural states, believes that if ethanol can’t be used as a SAF feedstock, it will hinder progress toward these unrealistic goals and hurt farms.
Senators from both parties wrote to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that the lack of cheap SAF choices would make it more challenging for farmers to join the clean energy market and hinder the growth of low-emission energy sources.
Environmental Defense Fund and Friends of the Earth argue removing land for ethanol releases carbon and make it hard for the government to reach its climate goals. President Biden predicts farms will provide 95% of sustainable airline fuel in 20 years.
The IRA mandates producers to measure SAF emissions using CORSIA or a comparable approach. Ethanol producers choose GREET. CORSIA’s indirect land-use effect review may disqualify ethanol-based SAF from the subsidy program.
The government may include GREET system components into a new system as a compromise. Contract conditions are unclear.