Biden admin to probe biofuels’ climate benefits

By Marc Heller | 06/26/2024 01:17 PM EDT

USDA’s request for input on how biofuel crop farming practices can reduce greenhouse gas emissions could help shape an upcoming tax credit.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said USDA is looking for information on how biofuel crops like corn or soybeans can yield more greenhouse gas reductions depending on conservation practices. Charlie Neibergall/AP

The Biden administration is asking farm and biofuel groups to detail how certain crops and growing practices cut emissions tied to climate change.

In a formal “request for information” to be published Thursday, the Agriculture Department says it’s looking for evidence that conservation practices make biofuels a climate-smart alternative to petroleum.

The department’s move, which industry groups predicted, could help shape a clean fuels tax credit that’s due to take effect in 2025, although Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today that the tax credit isn’t the sole reason for the information request.


“I’m just asking to amplify our voice,” Vilsack told members of Clean Fuels Alliance America, a lobbying group for biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, at an association conference Wednesday. USDA is providing guidance to the Treasury Department on how the tax credit should be applied to agriculture.