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USDA to revise GHG model favoring ethanol in aviation fuel

Here's some uplifting news for corn-based ethanol enthusiasts. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is putting its weight behind ensuring that aviation fuel made from this source doesn’t miss out on hefty subsidies. At a biofuels-focused conference, Tom Vilsack shared that the USDA would invest as much as $400,000 to refine a particular greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions model. 

This step is all about making sure that various feedstocks, especially ethanol, are in line to benefit from these subsidies to soothe the biofuel industry's nerves. They've been worried about not getting a slice of the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) pie. This SAF market, which has the backing of both airlines and the administration, could be a game-changer in slashing transportation emissions. 

Digging a bit deeper, there’s the Inflation Reduction Act from the previous year to consider. This Act waves the carrot of lucrative tax credits in front of SAF producers. But there's a challenge – these producers must showcase that their fuel is half as polluting as regular gasoline. 

There's a small problem. People can't agree on which model to use to measure the emissions. While the biofuels camp roots for the GREET model, some environmentalists are skeptical. They believe this model might downplay the emissions from biofuel farming. 

Backing the GREET model, Vilsack disclosed the USDA’s commitment to its refinement. The department is setting aside a budget of $300,000 to $400,000 for this task and hopes to wrap it up by the end of the year. But the exact changes remain under wraps for now. 

Vilsack is also on a mission to rally more support for the GREET model, discussing it with top brass from other key departments. All eyes are now on the Treasury Department, which is set to deliver a final verdict on this matter soon. 

Source : wisconsinagconnection

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