BIO joins new SAF Coalition promoting sustainable aviation fuel - Bio.News

BIO joins new SAF Coalition promoting sustainable aviation fuel

SAF coalition

The new SAF Coalition, which seeks to promote sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), just added 10 new members—including the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)— according to a June 20 announcement.

Established in April and now 50+ members strong, the SAF Coalition advocates for policies to improve U.S. competitiveness in the SAF marketplace and increase domestic production.

“BIO is proud to join the SAF Coalition. We look forward to working with them as we continue our efforts to advance SAF production and adoption in the U.S.,” says John Torres, BIO’s Senior Director, Federal Government Relations, Agriculture & Environment.

What is SAF?

Produced with biotech from renewable feedstocks, SAF offers an immediate-term solution to slash the impact of air travel on climate change. SAF can be dropped into existing commercial airline engines and can reduce carbon emissions by 70% compared to conventional fossil fuels.

Yet SAF makes up less than 0.1% of the jet fuel used worldwide. BIO and other groups, like the SAF Coalition, are seeking to change that.

There are already some policy initiatives in place.

White House efforts to promote SAF

The Inflation Reduction Act contains incentives for SAF production, including extending tax credits for cellulosic biofuels. It also provides a refundable SAF tax credit for blenders who sell biofuel, amounting to $1.25 per gallon plus additional credits based on the lifecycle emissions reduction of the biofuel as compared to petroleum-based jet fuel. Further tax incentives for clean fuel production kick in from 2025 to 2028.

The SAF Grand Challenge is a government-wide initiative to make 3 billion gallons of SAF available annually by 2030 and to supply enough to meet 100% of the aviation fuel demand by 2050. It involves the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy (DOE), and other federal agencies in a coordinated partnership “to accelerate the research, development, demonstration, and deployment,” of SAF, according to an announcement by the DOE.

A new Congressional effort

The new bipartisan Congressional Sustainable Aviation Caucus seeks to enable new technologies including SAF to reduce the carbon footprint of air travel. Chaired by Reps. Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD), the caucus includes:

  • Mike Flood (R-NE)
  • Nikki Budzinski (D-IL)
  • Salud Carbajal (D-CA)
  • Troy Carter (D-LA)
  • Derrick Van Orden (R-WI)
  • Tom Kean (R-NJ)
  • Brad Finstad (R-MN)

“By accessing federal policy, holding forums, and bringing together public and private partners, the caucus will play a key role in the integration of new technologies into the nation’s aviation network,” says a press release from Rep. Davids.

How BIO and its members are supporting SAF

BIO’s membership includes Virent, which recently fueled the first transatlantic flight of a commercial aircraft powered 100% with SAF, and LanzaJet, which recently opened the world’s first production facility to convert plant-based and low-carbon ethanol into SAF in Soperton, Georgia.

BIO has long worked for these and other members to promote government policy that encourages the production and use of SAF. This includes support for legislation and federal rules that more accurately model the greenhouse gas savings from biofuels, including SAF.

BIO has also promoted policy to support SAFs through legislation like the Farm Bill. “We think the Farm Bill could be a great vehicle to add some incentives around the airline industry’s adoption of biofuels,” Torres has said.

What the SAF Coalition does

“Comprised of airlines and aircraft operators, agricultural enterprises, aircraft and aircraft equipment manufacturers, airports, technology developers, labor unions, and biofuel producers,” the SAF Coalition leverages “the collective strength of the SAF value chain” to advocate for further policy improvement.

The SAF Coalition advocates for policies that:

  • incentivize SAF production;
  • scale the supply of low-carbon, commercially competitive SAF;
  • increase U.S. competitiveness in the SAF marketplace;
  • grow a competitive market for SAF;
  • create jobs;
  • increase U.S. fuel production and innovation.

“The expansion of our membership shows the deep and growing support that SAF enjoys across many stakeholders,” said Alison Graab, Executive Director of the SAF Coalition in welcoming BIO and the other new members.

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