Could a new initiative by the US government to boost sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production exacerbate fears of food insecurity?
Why is this important: Some are calling the latest initiative by the US government to provide tax credit for additional support for the production of SAF from biofuel – particularly from corn – antithetical to sustainability. Furthermore, the more arable land used to produce feedstock for fuel, the less will be available for growing food. Also, due to the incentives from the government and the relatively higher profitability from producing fuel, lands that would’ve otherwise been less profitable to produce on will be used, consuming more water and natural resources.
Continue reading to learn more about the US government program to help the somewhat stalled NetZero by 2050 initiative.
Get Involved: Do you believe that this new initiative by the US government to support SAF development to be a net positive? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Corn-based aviation fuel could earn tax credits under White House plan — at least for now.
The Biden administration released long-awaited guidance on Friday around tax credits for aviation fuel that reduces emissions of greenhouse gases compared with fuel made from crude oil.
Some environmentalists expressed concern that the Treasury Department guidelines could allow credits for fuel made from corn and other crops that they consider poor choices because of the water and other resources needed to grow them.
Midwest lawmakers and companies that produce corn-based ethanol praised the guidelines, although their enthusiasm could be short-lived.
By USA Today
New government guidance rewards sustainable aviation fuel
The U.S. Treasury Department Friday released details of an initiative to lower emissions produced by aviation fuel by encouraging American innovation in the sector.
The Sustainable Aviation Fuel credits are being administered through the Treasury, with consultation from the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy. “Incentives in the Inflation Reduction are helping to scale production of low-carbon fuels and cut emissions from the aviation sector, one of the most difficult-to-transition sectors of our economy,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
Yellen also pledged the credits will create jobs in the aviation fuel industry to “help the U.S. clear hurdles in our clean energy transition.”
By Simon Druker | UPI News
Biden administration to release aviation fuel subsidy guidance by end of week – sources
The Biden administration expects the Treasury to release guidance by the end of this week on whether to make it easier for sustainable aviation fuel made from corn-based ethanol to qualify for subsidies, multiple sources familiar with the administration’s thinking told Reuters.
For months the administration has been divided over this issue, as it faces a strong lobbying push from stakeholders in the U.S. Farm Belt, a key political constituency ahead of next year’s presidential election. Corn-based ethanol producers see sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as one of the only routes to grow their industry amid rising sales of electric vehicles. They also argue that the U.S. needs to use ready technology to quickly reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
By Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw | Reuters
Gevo to Pay Farmers Incentives Under Farm-to-Flight Program
Gevo Inc. said it plans to offer incentives to farmers under its Farm-to-Flight Program in an effort to boost production of sustainable fuels, including ethanol and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
Earlier this year, Gevo received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support Farm-to-Flight, which the company said is designed to track and quantify the impact of “climate-smart practices” on carbon emissions and encourage farmers to adopt certain sustainable production methods.
Gevo said the program uses a carbon-inset model with proprietary Verity Tracking technology to measure and record greenhouse gas as part of an effort to monetize carbon reduction. The program will help Gevo incentivize farmers to employ low carbon intensity methods to grow corn as a feedstock for ethanol and SAF production.
By Jonathan Welsh | Flying Magazine
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