New Sustainable Skies Act to promote transition to greener aviation fuel

It would establish a blender’s tax credit for SAF, which is expected to spur the production of SAF and help the US airline industry to reach its goal of eliminating net carbon emissions by 2050

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New legislation to fight carbon emissions and promote the transition to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the US has been introduced.

The Sustainable Skies Act would establish a blender’s tax credit for SAF, which is expected to spur the production of SAF and help the US airline industry to reach its goal of eliminating net carbon emissions by 2050.

Introduced by Congressman Brad Schneider and co-led by representatives Dan Kildee and Julia Brownley, the legislation would create a tax credit starting at $1.50 (£1.06) per gallon for blenders that supply SAF, with a demonstrated 50% or greater lifecycle estimate reduction in emissions compared to standard jet fuel.

An additional credit of $0.01/gallon for each percentage the fuel reduces emissions of more than 50% would be provided- for instance, an SAF that reduces emissions by 70% would receive a credit of $1.70 (£1.2)/gallon.

The tax credit would expire at the end of 2031.

Eligible fuels would need to follow the sustainability criteria established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) or methodology the bill requires the Environmental Protection Agency to determine is as stringent as ICAO’s.

Air travel currently account for as much as 2.5% of global carbon emissions – the new Act aims to cut emissions from the aviation industry in half.

Congressman Brad Schneider said: “Air travel has changed the world and will be a growing part of our future. It is imperative for America to confront the existential challenge of climate change by making air travel cleaner. The Sustainable Skies Act will halve carbon emissions while also enabling more travel and commerce, a win-win for Americans today and our future generations.

“Implementing sustainable aviation fuels is the single most important step the aviation industry can take to combat climate change and I’m proud to take this legislation to the House with the support of both Illinois-based companies, like United and LanzaJet and climate change champions, like the Environmental Defense Fund and the World Wildlife Fund.”

Airlines for America (A4A) welcomed the Act, with President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio adding: “A4A’s goal of eliminating net carbon emissions by 2050 builds on the U.S. airline industry’s strong record of sustainability. The Sustainable Skies Act would go a long way toward improving the cost-competitiveness of sustainable aviation fuel, which is crucial to rapidly expanding its deployment by US carriers.

“The US airline industry has set an ambitious mid-term goal of making 2 billion gallons of SAF available for U.S. carriers to use in 2030, and supportive measures like the Sustainable Skies Act will enable us to achieve that goal.”