ACE Underscores Role Ethanol, Climate Smart Ag Can Play in a National Clean Fuels Program as EPW Committee Holds Hearing


Sioux Falls, SD – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings submitted written testimony today underscoring the critical role low-carbon biofuels and climate smart agriculture practices can play in ensuring federal clean fuel policy meets transportation decarbonization goals as the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee holds a hearing on “The Future of Low Carbon Transportation Fuels and Considerations for a National Clean Fuels Program.” ACE also joined a diverse group of over 20 organizations part of the DriveClean Initiative in submitting principles upon which a Clean Fuel Standard could be drafted.

“Establishment of a federal Clean Fuel Standard would be a powerful tool to help the U.S. meet the 2050 GHG emission reduction objective for the U.S. transportation sector,” Jennings said. “The ethanol industry and U.S. farmers are primed to be part of the solution. To do so, however, means federal policies like a Clean Fuel Standard must be technology-neutral and ensure fair and accurate accounting and crediting of GHG reductions from climate smart agriculture practices.”

ACE has been at the forefront of discussions on how the ethanol industry and U.S. farmers can further contribute to GHG reduction goals. Guided by its Board of Directors’ objective for ethanol production to reach net-zero lifecycle GHG emissions by 2050, ACE is involved in policy development and work to provide real-world validation of lifecycle GHG benefits of climate smart agriculture practices at scale.

“A properly crafted federal Clean Fuels Standard would more quickly incentivize U.S. ethanol companies and farmers to invest in production processes and deployment of climate smart agriculture practices to reach these net-zero carbon intensity goals in a meaningful timeframe to address the current climate challenges,” Jennings added.

ACE’s testimony notes how state Low Carbon Fuel Standard programs and GHG models significantly undervalue the climate benefits of today’s farming practices. ACE is proactively working to document the benefits of climate smart practices on the carbon intensity of corn ethanol through its South Dakota-based, USDA-funded Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project, in partnership with top land-grant scientists and Sandia National Lab. The goal is to create a scientifically proven, non-proprietary measurement and validation tool that clean fuel regulators, renewable fuel producers and farmers can use to credit these GHG contributions in state and federal clean fuel programs.

In the submission to the Committee, ACE provided scientific evidence and economic analysis showing that adoption of climate smart agriculture practices is one of the quickest and most cost-effective areas for GHG emission mitigation. ACE conducted county level analysis using USDA’s GHG predictive COMET-Planner tool to measure climate smart practices deployed in an expanded version of the South Dakota RCPP project across a 10-state region. The analysis showed a reduction in CO2 emissions of 364,098 metric tons per year, and if LCFS market access was secured, roughly $530 million in new revenues annually based on current carbon pricing, with farmers earning approximately $263 per acre annually.