The “Carbon 50 Project” is a network of farm leaders, former lawmakers, and clean energy advocates pushing for a 50 state approach to reduce carbon emissions.

Project co-chair, Carol Warner says that the current federal funding debate is the perfect time to advance biofuels.

According to Warner, “This is a huge opportunity to get things right to align our policies, to build trust between Washington and the rest of the country and particularly rural America. So, that is the overarching priority and part of that means really making sure that we are doing right by agriculture.”

The House Ag Committee includes $1 billion dollars for biofuels infrastructure in its portion of the Build Back Better Act, which Warner says will be critical as the transportation industry pushes for lower emissions.

“As we look at the huge push for electrification by the administration and by many in the country, what’s important to recognize is that there are these areas where you just do not flip a switch, but there is an important transition,” she states. “Biofuels can make an enormous difference in reducing carbon emissions.”

Warner says that it is more than just fuel emissions, she also sees opportunities for rural development and job creation in the bio-based manufacturing sector.

“We have to be concerned about all of the petrochemicals that are being produce, and that we need to look to bio-refineries as a manufacturing facility that help us reduce our reliance on petrochemicals, which are also very carbon intensive and also harmful to human health,” she explains.

However, there are also concerns in farm country about rumored cuts to renewable fuel blending volumes, which have yet to be announced.

“It sends a very disappointing signal. I think that it definitely hurts and it really erodes the ability to make headway on the issues that people say are really, really important in terms of addressing climate, getting those emissions down, and doing it in a very timely way…,” she adds.

Carbon 50 is also calling for more support for low carbon fuel standards, and says that cutting blending rates could jeopardize the credits being generated to support those state programs.