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First look at House GOP's farm bill

Illustration of combine harvesters making a dollar sign in a field.

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Alternative aviation fuel is getting some support in the House Republican farm bill — but industry isn't getting the assist that it asked for.

Why it matters: We've learned that what airliners and ethanol backers wanted most — language in the bill relevant to emissions modeling — won't wind up in the GOP's opening salvo.

  • The bill also will have new proposals scrutinizing solar siting on potential farmland.

Driving the news: The House Republican farm bill will include language that would "affirm sustainable aviation fuel as an advanced biofuel," according to materials summarizing the title reviewed exclusively by Axios.

  • The summary says the language will be similar to some provisions in the Farm to Fly Act, which a coalition supporting alternative plane fuel production had requested be included in full.
  • The entire bill won't be included, per a GOP aide. House Ag Chair Glenn "GT" Thompson recently told us that could spark jurisdictional concerns.

The farm bill will also include provisions to require that the USDA study the impacts of solar siting on forestland and farmland "as inspired by" these three bills, per the materials.

  • And there'll be a limit on agency authority to use those lands for "ground-mounted solar installations," based on the "policies and concepts laid out" in this bill.
  • There's much more, like provisions reauthorizing existing biofuels programs and bolstering the Rural Energy America Program. We doubt those will be controversial.

Between the lines: It feels unlikely the energy title will be a problem for lawmakers trying to get a farm bill done quickly. A lot of this is bipartisan.

  • Time will tell if there are frustrations from progressives or anti-ethanol conservatives. Yet if there are, they may be only minor obstacles to getting a deal done.

What's next: We expect this info to be public as soon as tomorrow.

  • As for the full text, we're anticipating it'll be unveiled in the subsequent days ahead of an announced markup on May 23.

Fun fact: The "jurisdictional" issue with Farm to Fly was related to its impacts on the GREET emissions model, per the GOP Ag aide.

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