Biomass Magazine

House Ag Committee Advances Farm Bill That Includes SAF Provisions

The Committee passed the proposed legislation by a 33-21 vote

Biomass Magazine, May 28, 2024

The House Committee on Agriculture on May 24 completed markup of its version of the 2024 Farm Bill and passed the proposed legislation by a 33-21 vote. Among the provisions included in the bill are those in support of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The Farm Bill is a package of legislation that is normally passed every five years. It covers a wide range of programs, including crop insurance, nutrition programs and programs that support bioenergy initiatives.

Congress most recently passed a Farm Bill package in 2018. That legislation was set to expire on Sept. 30, 2023. Lawmakers, however, extended the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill for one year, through Sept. 30, 2024, as part of a stopgap bill approved on Nov. 14, 2024, to avoid a government shutdown. Work is currently underway to craft the 2024 Farm Bill.

U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and House Agriculture Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., on May 1 released outlines for competing versions of the 2024 Farm Bill.

The House Ag Committee on May 17 released a discussion draft of its version of the 2024 Farm Bill, formally titled the “Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024,” offering a more detailed summary of its proposed legislation. The House Ag Committee completed markup of its version of the 2024 Farm Bill on May 24 and passed the bill by a 33-21 vote. The amended legislation must now be considered by the full House.

The discussion draft of the House’s 2024 Farm Bill released on May 17 included language affirming SAF as an advanced biofuel. Rep. Max Miller, R-Ohio, on May 24 released a statement announcing that he passed an amendment to the bill during markup that adds important provisions from his Farm to Fly Act to the legislation. Miller on Nov. 7, 2023, introduced the bipartisan Farm to Fly Act, which aims to aims to create new markets for U.S. agricultural products and strengthen domestic production of SAF. Companion legislation to the Farm to Fly Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate earlier this year.

The Sustainable Aviation Fuel Coalition on May 24 released a statement applauding the inclusion of SAF provisions in the House’s version of the 2024 Farm Bill. “The SAF Coalition applauds the House Committee on Agriculture for a good first step in the further advancement of SAF,” said Alison Graab, executive director of the SAF Coalition. “The Committee’s affirmation of SAF as an advanced biofuel in the farm bill will make SAF eligible for important U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs and help to develop a critical new market for crops and agricultural waste streams. Although more work remains, the provisions of the bill affirming SAF as an advanced biofuel and providing for greater USDA collaboration regarding SAF underscore the significant role of SAF — not just in providing a clean and reliable jet fuel — but in also supporting rural economic development, creating a new market and economic opportunities for farmers, and ensuring American energy security.”

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry is also continuing work on its version of the 2024 Farm Bill and has signaled it plans to release a framework of its legislation within weeks. Once passed by their respective houses, the two versions of the bill will likely be combined into one compromise package via a conference committee. Both the Senate and House must then pass the combined legislative package before it can be signed into law.

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