Kansas Corn: Treasury’s Adoption of GREET Model Is Good Step for Ethanol

12/15/23—The U.S. Department of Treasury announced today that it will use a modified version of the GREET model as a measurement for determining reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as the agency allocates tax credits for sustainable aviation fuels under the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. Kansas Corn Growers Association and National Corn Growers Association leaders said they are pleased Treasury is embracing the model. Kansas Corn was one of 16 state and national corn leaders that signed on to a letter requesting the GREET model be adopted.

“This is a positive step toward adoption of GREET, a model that recognizes our corn farmers’ modern production practices, which opens the door for future uses of ethanol in applications like sustainable aviation fuel,” KCGA CEO Josh Roe said. “It is encouraging to see Secretary Yellen’s announcement, and we are interested to learn more about the modifications made to the model.”

This decision is key as ethanol is being considered for use in sustainable aviation fuel. Ethanol has been used for years to lower greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks while saving consumers money at the pump, and experts say the biofuel would do for airplanes what it has done for autos.

NCGA President Harrold Wolle said the announcement is a big step forward in establishing the use of ethanol in aviation fuel.

“Given that GREET was created by the U.S. government and is widely respected for its ability to measure reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the farm to the plane, we are encouraged that Treasury will adopt some version of this model,” Wolle said. “At the end of the day, we are eager to help the aviation sector lower its carbon footprint, and we look forward to working with the involved agencies over the coming months to ensure the final model helps us achieve that goal.”

GREET, which stands for the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation, was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy to measure greenhouse emissions from the field to the car or plane. The GREET model accurately accounts for on-farm carbon reduction activities and feedstock crop yield increases as well as the improved agriculture production practices farmers have adopted over the last twenty years.

The decision by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has been eagerly anticipated since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed in 2022. The law allocates tax credits for biofuels that can demonstrate that they cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% or more.