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Model for jet fuel tax credit is delayed, official says

Feb 29, 2024
Illustration of an airplane flying through a cloud in the shape of the word CO2

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The White House is delaying the long-expected release of a key model for companies to qualify for the IRA's sustainable aviation fuel tax credit.

Why it matters: From aviation to agriculture, many companies are eagerly awaiting this model, which measures jet fuel's lifecycle carbon emissions.

Driving the news: The Biden administration won't meet the March 1 deadline it previously set for releasing an updated version of GREET, per a White House official familiar with the situation.

  • The GREET model is a greenhouse gas measurement tool previously used for federal ethanol mandates.
  • The updated version is supposed to incorporate climate activists' concerns that more SAF would mean much more land use, which can potentially have deleterious climate impacts.

Expect the update in "weeks, not months," said the official, who requested anonymity to candidly discuss the situation.

  • "We just haven't finished dotting every 'i' and crossing every 't' ... We know that this is eagerly anticipated."

Catch up quick: Agriculture stakeholders and their allies on the Hill pushed President Biden to let companies use GREET as an alternate way to measure their emissions to qualify for the credit.

  • That was opposed to an international standard laid out in statute, which companies said was too onerous.
  • Lawmakers failed to get the GREET model mandated for analyzing plane fuel in the NDAA and the FAA reauthorization.

Yes, but: The official said the administration has incorporated fresh data and science on indirect land use and even with that integration, "we believe that much of the SAF on the market is well positioned to qualify for the credit."

  • "That includes biofuels pathways," the official noted.
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