Sustainable Aviation Fuels Accuracy Act of 2023 Introduced in the Senate

(WASHINGTON D.C.)– Biofuels groups and advocates are hailing the introduction of the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Accuracy Act of 2023 on Tuesday. The bill, introduced by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), would identify the standards required to meet the definition of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

You can learn more and read industry reaction below:

RFA Welcomes Legislation to Better Define Sustainable Aviation Fuel

The Renewable Fuels Association thanked a bipartisan group of senators who introduced legislation late yesterday that would clarify the definition of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and specify additional lifecycle GHG methodologies for the sake of federal SAF regulation.

Importantly, the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Accuracy Act of 2023, introduced by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), specifies that the Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET model is an allowable methodology for determining SAF lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. RFA has long argued that the Argonne GREET model is scientifically superior to other lifecycle GHG methodologies, including the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) model. RFA remains concerned that the ICAO model relies on outdated and inaccurate information that could result in severely constraining the supply of qualifying feedstocks for SAF.

“We thank Sen. Duckworth and her colleagues for working together on this important legislation that will better facilitate growth in SAF production and use,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “By including the most robust and accurate lifecycle GHG model, this legislation would ensure America’s farmers and renewable fuel producers have the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the goal of producing 3 billion gallons of SAF by 2030.”

In a 2021 letter to congressional leadership, RFA and allies pointed out that the GREET model has been the state-of-the-art model used globally to measure life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, and that Congress should be using a U.S.-based lifecycle emissions model when determining U.S.-based tax incentives.

 

Statement from American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings:
“ACE supports ensuring the global gold standard for lifecycle analysis, the GREET model, is used to determine the carbon intensity of transportation technologies and fuels including SAF. This bill is consistent with what Congress requires Treasury to follow with respect to implementing the new 45Z tax credit, and since the SAF tax credit eventually migrates to 45Z this makes good policy sense.” – Brian Jennings, American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO
Full text of the bill can be accessed here.

Growth Energy: SAF Accuracy Act Would Advance U.S. Production 

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement today upon the introduction of the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Accuracy Act by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), along with Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). The bill would identify the standards required to meet the definition of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“The Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory have invested decades into building the world’s most accurate and sophisticated tool for modeling transportation emissions, and we should be making full use of that data to decarbonize aviation. We’re grateful to Senator Duckworth and her colleagues for elevating the importance of sound science when it comes to advancing U.S. production of SAF. The Sustainable Aviation Fuels Accuracy Act will ensure that American biofuel producers and our farm partners are not bogged down with outdated or inaccurate models as we work to meet the aviation sector’s clean fuel needs.”

Specifically, the bill would require the Federal Government to use the most up-to-date lifecycle emissions models—including the U.S. Department of Energy commissioned, Argonne National Lab’s Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Technologies Model or GREET model—that accurately considers crops, land uses, and carbon reduction practices in its definition of SAF. A summary of the legislation can be found here.

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