Apr 29, 2024 - Technology

Airlines rally around Biden's fuel credit

sustainable airline fuel credit

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Major airlines are uniting in defense of the "sustainable" fuel credit created by President Biden's new climate law, Axios Pro Energy Policy's Jael Holzman writes.

Why it matters: It's a sign that companies are taking seriously the odds of a GOP victory in November that would threaten the climate law.

  • Not to mention the credit is going to be helpful for some airliners' climate plans.

Driving the news: More than 40 companies — including American Airlines, JetBlue and United — today are announcing the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Coalition.

  • The group is moving to "advocate for the incentives and policies necessary" to boost production of the now-in-vogue alternative jet fuels.
  • The coalition also includes Boeing, ethanol trade groups and SAF producer startups like Gevo and World Energy, according to a news release.

Zoom in: The coalition wants to "expand" existing credits for making the special fuel and "secure broad, bipartisan legislation that will rapidly advance" its availability, the announcement said.

The big picture: So-called "sustainable" aviation fuel is made from material other than petroleum and reduces carbon emissions, according to the Energy Department.

Between the lines: There's conspicuous timing with this announcement because, according to recent reporting, the Biden team will say how it'll measure jet fuel emissions for the credit as early as tomorrow.

Catch up quick: Sixteen senators — including John Thune, who's been floated as a potential replacement to Mitch McConnell as Republican leader — wrote the Treasury Department last year on implementation of the credit, asking it to use a federal emissions model benefiting ethanol.

  • This demonstrates how support for ethanol could save the overall jet fuel credit from an IRA repeal-ready Trump administration.

Yes, but: One powerful industry — the trucking fuel sector — is angry about competition for ethanol stocks and whispering about possible legal challenges over the credit's implementation.

Go deeper: Unlock the whole story — and a steady diet of scoops and smart analysis — by talking to our sales team about Axios Pro: Energy Policy.

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