January 23, 2024

Duckworth Joins Colleagues to Introduce Legislation to Expand Use of Biofuels for Aviation


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced 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 utilize current USDA programs to support the development of SAF, clarify federal definitions for SAF and enable greater collaboration between USDA and the private sector.

“One of the most important things we can do to make American aviation more sustainable is increase the supply of American-grown, American-made sustainable aviation fuel,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud to partner with Senators Moran, Klobuchar, Ernst and Grassley to introduce our bipartisan bill that will build off of my Sustainable Aviation Fuel Accuracy Act to increase USDA’s collaboration with the aviation biofuels sector and expand the market of sustainable aviation fuel, which would be a true win-win solution that supports domestic farmers and blenders while reducing our nation’s carbon footprint.”

“Sustainable aviation fuel is a promising alternative fuel source that can provide new markets for farmers while increasing our domestic energy production and security,” said Moran. “This legislation would increase the accessibility of biofuel for commercial use and directly support rural America and its farmers, the agriculture industry and the aviation sector.”

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

“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 Ernst. “An investment in the development of sustainable aviation fuel is an investment in our national security, our environment, and our farmers.”

“Embracing biofuels is positive for Iowa farmers and the environment,” said Grassley. “By expanding opportunities for investment in sustainable aviation fuels at the USDA, our bill aims to diversify and onshore American energy production while encouraging economic activity,"

Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Max Miller (R-OH-07), Nikki Budzinski (D-IL-13), Angie Craig (D-MN-02), Jasmine Crockett (D-TX-30), Randy Feenstra (R-IA-04), Brad Finstad (R-MN-01), Mike Flood (R-NE-01) and Ashley Hinson (R-IA-02).

This legislation is also supported by a number of aviation, agriculture and energy leaders.

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.