Biofuel Makers Call for Aviation Fuel Tax Credit Changes in Biden’s Spending Plan

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Sept. 16 (Reuters) – Biofuel producers are seeking last-minute changes to a proposal to increase production of sustainable aviation fuel in the Democrat’s $ 3.5 trillion spending plan that they say will allow the country’s farmers to join the emerging multibillion market.

The changes focus on how the carbon-saving benefits of fuel production are measured and could force the White House to choose between environmental groups who believe land use and the food supply for fuel wastes the earth’s resources, and agricultural and agro-industrial groups who hope to benefit from the pressure to stop climate change.

The White House said last week that it wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft by 20% by the end of the decade by dramatically increasing the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Currently, less than 1% of the roughly 21.5 billion gallons of jet fuel burned each year in the United States is SAF, but the White House has set a target of 3 billion gallons by 2030.

He supported a tax credit of $ 1.75 to $ 2 per gallon for sellers and users of sustainably produced fuel to offset the higher cost, which can be up to three times that of fuel. ordinary.

FAS is currently produced from used cooking oil and animal fat, and even supporters of the increased targets consider the target ambitious.

Biofuel groups say it’s utterly impossible without tapping into raw materials like ethanol and soybean oil, and want the current model used to determine tax credit eligibility changed to allow them to participate.

They argue that the plan is based on a “biased” European model that exaggerates the impact on land use of raw materials for farm-grown biofuels and denies farmers access to lucrative credit. They are pushing for a different model developed by the US Department of Energy.

“If we use outdated modeling and don’t use this blessing that we have, there could be a lost opportunity not only for the farmers but for this whole project, this whole initiative,” said Dustin Marquis, director of government relations. at Marquis Énergie.

The White House’s goals will be a “fantasy” if current legislation is not changed, said Brooke Coleman, executive director of the Advanced Biofuels Business Council.

“We need agricultural feedstocks to hit the target, and that won’t happen if we let a European bias dictate advanced production of biofuels in the United States,” Coleman said.

The White House did not respond to the request for comment.

CHOICE OF WHITE HOUSE

In order to be eligible for the tax credit, current legislation states that a producer should demonstrate a carbon score that is at least 50 percent better than the alternative to fossil fuels.

The scoring system would be based on a European model developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) which provides for land use penalties three times higher than the main American model known as GREET, which was developed by the US Department of Energy.

Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider of Illinois is the primary sponsor of the House tax credit legislation. He is seeking an amendment to the bill that would reference both models, but leave it up to the White House to make a final decision.

Pedro Piris-Cabezas, Director of Sustainable International Transport at the Environmental Defense Fund, explains that the ICAO model accurately accounts for direct and indirect land use changes caused by increased demand for agricultural fuels such as ethanol and soy.

Among other things, increased demand for crops is causing land clearing in the United States and abroad, including rainforests. He also noted that the model offers farmers a significant opportunity to lower their carbon scores by adopting new technologies, such as carbon sequestration or clean energy.

“The goal here is not to make taxpayers pay for something that will have a negative impact on the environment,” Piris-Cabezas said.

He added that loosening the model or injecting discretion into its implementation would “jeopardize the environmental integrity” of the plan and confuse an industry looking to invest billions of dollars in its growth.

Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Stephanie Kelly; edited by Heather Timmons and Richard Pullin

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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