Updated Aviation Fuel Model Doesn’t Fly With Corn Growers

Posted on: May 1, 2024

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)–The U.S. Department of Treasury’s recent decision to adopt a modified version of the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) model has sparked significant concern among corn growers. This model will determine the greenhouse gas emission reductions required under the Inflation Reduction Act, which offers tax credits for biofuels that can demonstrate a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 50% or more. Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President Brent Hoerr says dictating specific farming practices for growers to play a role in this substantial market is not feasible.

“The original GREET model was widely respected as an industry standard in measuring greenhouse gas emissions. The Department of Treasury took a complicated and technical model and made it even more convoluted by tying the future of sustainable aviation fuel to an unrealistic one-size-fits-all approach. Requiring farmers to utilize all three production practices, no-till, enhanced efficiency fertilizers, and cover crops, as a baseline to qualify for the tax credit does not work for Missouri and across the Corn Belt.

“As it stands, no Missouri ethanol plant and only a small percentage of corn acres would qualify under these requirements. Not only does this approach ignore the innovative strides corn farmers are making, but requiring specific farming practices is not practical given the different soil types and growing regions. Farmers should be able to choose the best practices on their farms.

“Corn growers have been diligently focused on ensuring corn-based ethanol qualifies for the available sustainable aviation fuels tax credits. More work must be done to ensure corn farmers have a seat at the table in the next version of the guidelines, specifically the 45Z clean fuel production tax credit. The devil is in the details, and MCGA is working to ensure farmers retain control over their farming practices and data while participating in opportunities for sustainable aviation fuel.”

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