Corn Growers Urge Yellen to Follow DOE Model in Assessing Aviation Fuel Tax Credits
WASHINGTON — The nation’s top corn growers are urging Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to adopt an emissions model developed by the Department of Energy as her department and the Internal Revenue Service work to determine which biofuels will qualify for sustainable aviation fuel tax credits.
Yellen is expected to make a final announcement on the tax credits — which were included in the Inflation Reduction Act — this month.
Qualifying for the tax credit will be based in large part on an analysis of which biofuel alternatives lower greenhouse gas emissions the most.
In a letter sent to Yellen earlier this week, the National Corn Growers Association and the leaders of 16 state grower groups called on the Treasury Department to use an emissions standard referred to as the GREET model, which was developed by the DOE, rather than a less comprehensive international standard preferred by others.
“GREET is the federal government’s most robust and updated model or methodology for transportation life cycle assessment,” the letter says. “It is used globally to measure life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, and the DOE has the best resources, expertise and current ability within federal government agencies to assess life cycle emissions accurately and scientifically.”
Unlike other models, GREET considers the full environmental picture, the corn growers argue.
“The GREET model accurately accounts for on-farm carbon reduction activities and feedstock yield increases and the improved agriculture production practices that farmers have adopted over the last 20 years,” the letter continues. “This further solidifies GREET as the methodology Treasury and the IRS should use to determine tax credits for SAF under the IRA.”
The letter comes as corn ethanol, which has been used for years to lower greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks while saving consumers money at the pump, is being considered for use in the aviation sector.
The corn growers believe the tax credit from the IRA will be crucial to ensuring ethanol is quickly made available in the aviation sector. A decision on that tax credit could come down to which emissions model is used to determine greenhouse gas emission reductions.