NBAA Supports GAO SAF Study

 - March 30, 2021, 10:51 AM
Through a bipartisan congressional effort, the U.S. Government Accountability Office is being urged to delve deeply into an examination of what policies can be instituted to accelerate the production- and industry acceptance of sustainable aviation fuel. (Photo: Avfuel)

NBAA today applauded a bipartisan congressional request for the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to launch a study on which policy measures are required to foster the awareness, production, and demand for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

In a March 18 letter, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee, along with ranking member Sam Graves (R-Missouri), aviation subcommittee chair Rick Larsen (D-Washington), and panel ranking member Garret Graves (R-Louisiana) urged the GAO to examine government policies that could help or hinder “the development, certification, production, deployment, and use of SAF.”

At a T&I committee hearing last week, recently installed Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg voiced his support for increased use of renewable fuels. “I’m trying to assess how much of that can be achieved through further developments in the research space versus what we can do in terms of market-making investments that might be supportive of getting closer to that critical mass that would allow SAFs to really mature as a market,” he said.

FedEx chair and CEO Fred Smith, in another hearing earlier this month, also signaled his company's willingness to expand the SAF envelope, stating it will continue to work with stakeholders to seek development and invest in cost-effective alternative fuels to reduce carbon emissions.

NBAA has long been at the fore of the SAF acceptance discussion, with president and CEO Ed Bolen offering the organization's support on numerous occasions. “This study offers an opportunity to answer the industry’s central question around SAF: when it comes to availability and use of these pioneering fuels, how far can we go, and how quickly can we get there?” he said. “These fuels hold the promise of dramatically reducing carbon emissions, and we know there is strong demand, which is why we are actively supporting a targeted blender’s tax credit to increase availability.”

Such a measure would provide producers of SAF the extra incentive of a per-gallon tax credit for the production of fuels that meet ASTM standards.