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Uniting for Sustainable Jet Fuel

AI generated airplane flying over soybean field

Politics may be too nasty, too divisive, and too expensive. And let’s not get started on how negative this presidential election will be. But a Kansas Democrat and a South Dakota Republican are uniting in a bipartisan show of support for sustainable aviation fuel.

U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson, Republican from South Dakota.

U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson, a Republican from South Dakota (by the way, South Dakota’s population is so small that it only has one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives), and U.S. Representative Sharice Davids, a Democrat from Kansas, have launched the Congressional Sustainable Aviation Caucus.

“I am proud to announce the formation of the Congressional Sustainable Aviation Caucus, which will bring together a wide variety of aviation leaders and policymakers to help reduce the aviation industry’s impact on the environment and ensure its long-term economic viability,” Davids said in a statement.

“The aviation industry is flying towards a more sustainable future. From sustainable aviation fuel to Advanced Air Mobility to hydrogen aviation, there are a lot of shifts we can expect to see in the coming years,” Johnson added in the statement.

Here are the members of the Congressional Sustainable Aviation Caucus:

  • Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS-03) - Co-Chair

  • Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD-AL) - Co-Chair

  • Rep. Mike Flood (R-NE-01)

  • Rep. Nikki Budzinski (D-IL-13)

  • Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24)

  • Rep. Troy Carter (D-LA-02) 

  • Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-WI-03)

  • Rep. Tom Kean (R-NJ-07)

  • Rep. Brad Finstad (R-MN-01)

U.S. Representative Sharice Davids, Democrat from Kansas.

The new caucus’ website describes its purpose:

“Reducing the aviation industry’s impact on the environment is a key focus for Congress, the public, and the aviation community. There are many initiatives underway to move forward these sustainability goals and aspirations through the adoption of sustainable aviation fuel and by integrating technology and solutions that improve the fuel efficiency of aircraft and reduce emissions.

The Caucus provides a forum for keeping abreast of these initiatives and assessing the policy, process, and resources to further environmental gains, fuel supply resiliency, and national security.”

RELATED: South Dakota Searchlight explains the potential of sustainable aviation fuel in that state and details tax credits that producers can receive. You can read that here.  

Part of the mission of the new caucus will also need to include educating election officials and the public about SAF.

“Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is an alternative fuel made from non-petroleum feedstocks that reduces emissions from air transportation. SAF can be blended at different levels with limits between 10% and 50%, depending on the feedstock and how the fuel is produced.”

That is how the U.S. Department of Energy describes sustainable aviation fuel on its website. 

But to renewable fuels producers, SAF could be an integral part of their success.

That potential is fueled by the desire to reduce carbon emissions. “Compared with conventional jet fuel, 100% SAF has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 94% depending on feedstock and technology pathway,” according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Some airlines share in the optimism for SAF. Delta Airlines includes on its website, “Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is the most promising lever known today to accelerate progress toward a net zero future.”

RELATED: Simple Flying has this piece on the new Congressional Sustainable Aviation Caucus and how SAF production globally could triple in 2024 compared to 2023. Find that here. 


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