Policies Could Offer Credits For Conservation

During its November 10, 2021 meeting, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Board of Directors voted to support new policies that credit farmers and ethanol producers for activities helping ethanol reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by mid-century.


The ACE Board of Directors supports the adoption of policies at the state and/or federal level that recognize ethanol is part of the climate and health solution while crediting farmers and ethanol producers for these activities, which will help ethanol reduce lifecycle GHG emissions by at least 70% on average compared to gasoline by 2030 and reach net-zero lifecycle GHG emissions by 2050.

This resolution aligns with ACE’s ongoing work to highlight how climate-smart farming practices, efficiencies at ethanol plants, and the capture and sequestration of biogenic CO2 from facilities puts ethanol on a unique trajectory to reach both net-zero and net-negative emissions. It also aligns with ACE’s advocacy of new technology-neutral clean fuel policies at the state and federal level that will ensure a growing market for low carbon ethanol even as overall petroleum use declines.


In 2014, ACE began working with the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory on improvements to its GREET model to ensure the climate contributions made by farmers are properly credited in lifecycle modeling. ACE’s engagement has resulted in several updates that more fully quantify corn ethanol’s ever-shrinking carbon footprint, including improvements to the 2021 GREET model.  

ACE’s 2018 white paper “The Case for Properly Valuing the Low Carbon Benefits of Corn Ethanol” further illustrates how lifecycle modeling needs to better reflect modern-day farming practices and ethanol production technologies and why increasing ethanol use is part of the solution to further reduce GHG emissions.

In 2020, ACE helped lead the release of “A Clean Fuels Policy for the Midwest,” a policy blueprint to encourage new low-carbon fuel markets. This helped create momentum for bipartisan clean fuels policy legislation, which was approved by the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2021. In Congress, ACE’s engagement led the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis to include a page from the Midwest Clean Fuel Policy blueprint in its June 2020 report by recommending Congress develop a technology-neutral LCFS that would provide meaningful economic benefits to farmers and biofuel producers.

Most recently, ACE and several partners were awarded a grant under USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program project that will compensate farmers for adopting climate-smart agricultural practices that sequester carbon, reduce GHG emissions, and improve soil health.