© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop at Newark Liberty International Airport, NJ, USA on December 6, 2019. REUTERS / Chris Helgren
By Stephanie Kelly and David Shepardson NEW YORK / WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Members of a subcommittee of the United States House of Representatives met Tuesday with representatives of the biofuel and airline industries to discuss ways to expand the production of fuel from low-carbon aviation, said the chairman of the subcommittee. Reuters. The meeting is part of a broader push by lawmakers to promote climate and energy legislation amid calls by the administration of US President Joe Biden to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonize the US economy by 2050. The aviation subcommittee of the House Transportation Committee, led by Democrats. and Infrastructure met with low-carbon fuel provider World Energy, the Advanced Biofuels Association and Airlines for America, among others, said two sources familiar with the meeting. The biofuels industry group represents about 30 companies and the airline industry group represents about 10 airlines and delivery companies. The virtual meeting was intended to brief members of the subcommittee on so-called sustainable aviation fuel, an alternative to traditional aviation fuel that can be made from animal fat, used cooking oil and vegetable oils, Rep. Rick Larsen told Reuters. , who chairs the subcommittee, after the meeting. Such fuels are considered more climate-friendly because they help replace dirtier petroleum products, while also providing new uses for waste that would otherwise be disposed of. “Not much SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) is being used right now relative to the American demand for aviation fuel on a large scale, but there is a lot going on,” Larsen said. “The biggest effort from a policy standpoint is to include jet fuel in the blender tax credit.” The meeting focused on the need for a coherent policy to help expand the market, one of the two sources said. Airlines and renewable fuel producers have promoted sustainable aviation fuel as a way to help reduce carbon emissions from the aviation industry, although it is currently expensive to manufacture and would require subsidies to be competitive. Last month, the Biden administration issued a new tax proposal that includes a blender tax credit for sustainable aviation fuel, which the Treasury Department says would allow “the decarbonization of a key part of the United States transportation sector.” Air travel contributes about 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Air Transport Action Group, a coalition of aviation experts focused on sustainability issues. In March, the aviation subcommittee asked the Office of Government Accountability, the investigative arm of Congress, to assess issues related to sustainable aviation fuel, including the role the federal government plays in facilitating its development and laws o American policies that present obstacles to its production.