As the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on “Climate Change and the Agriculture Sector” this week, American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings highlighted the scientific and economic opportunities U.S. farmers and biofuel producers hold to support climate change mitigation and get the rural economy back on track in a letter to committee leadership.
“As the committee begins this timely discussion about the role of agriculture in climate change, the current economic stakes intensify the need for policies which can provide a meaningful return on investment,” the letter stated. Jennings noted, U.S. farmers are under tremendous financial stress from collapsing net farm income, rising expenses, ongoing trade tensions, weather-related disasters, and the undermining of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) with demand destroying small refinery waivers.
As Congress tackles climate change, Jennings believes one way to thread that needle would be by providing “rural America with concrete benefits from climate-centered policies that outweigh potential negatives, such as recognizing the role agriculture can play to mitigate climate change and increasing the use of low carbon fuels.”
ACE published a White Paper last year titled “The Case for Properly Valuing the Low Carbon Benefits of Corn Ethanol” that highlights how U.S. farmers and ethanol producers are improving efficiencies, investing in technologies, and adopting practices to dramatically reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from corn ethanol.