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New Washington Law Incentivizes Local Sustainable Aviation Fuel Production

The Port of Seattle celebrated today as Washington state Governor Jay Inslee signed new legislation sponsored by State Senator Andy Billig to create policy and per-gallon price incentives for the production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in Washington. The Port of Seattle advocated for the new law as part of its multi-year push to accelerate the deployment of locally produced SAF at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

“The Port of Seattle’s goal to use a 10 percent blend of SAF requires that the supply come from local sources,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed. “Not only does locally produced fuel reduce carbon emissions related to distributing fuel, it also drives economic development in Washington state and reduces carbon and ultra-fine particulate emissions.”

The new law creates a per-gallon incentive for SAF with lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions that are at least 50 percent lower than traditional jet fuel. The incentive increases for each one percent reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas beyond 50 percent, up to a potential incentive of $2 per gallon.

The per gallon incentive can be claimed as a tax credit by fuel producers or consumers like airlines, but only once on any gallon.

Incentives will begin when a manufacturing facility becomes capable of producing at least 20 million gallons per year. Currently there is no continuous SAF production occurring in Washington state.

The bill also requires Washington State University and University of Washington to calculate the emission benefits near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport from the increased use of SAF. 

Port studies on SAF infrastructure and production feasibility indicate that regionally produced SAF is achievable. Studies also found that policy incentives to reduce the cost of production and sale price would accelerate the deployment of lower carbon, cleaner SAF.

The full legislation as passed is available via the Washington State Legislature.

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