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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

California Legislature passes bill to achieve 20% SAF use by 2030

In late August, the California Legislature passed a bill to incentivize sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and achieve a new goal for SAF to comprise 20 percent of aviation fuel consumed in the state by 2030.

AB 1322, first introduced by Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi and Robert Rivas in February 2021, requires the California Air Resources Board to develop an incentives-based plan to promote the use of SAF and other alternatives to jet fuel to reduce the impact of commercial aviation on climate change.

Specifically, this bill will require CARB to develop a plan to expand SAF production capacity by identifying tools for increasing SAF infrastructure and usage, while exploring electric and hydrogen technologies.

The bill sets a sustainable fuels usage target in the aviation sector of at least 20 percent by 2030. Contingent on an appropriation, AB 1322 also requires CARB to begin implementing the plan by July 2024.

The plan will evaluate and create incentives to increase the use of SAF and, to the extent feasible, other sustainable fuels.

In creating the plan, CARB will:

  • Quantify greenhouse-gas (GHG) emission reductions associated with SAF

  • Identify barriers to achieving the SAF production target

  • Set milestones for achieving it

  • Ensure that SAF incentives are, at minimum, comparable to other renewable fuel incentives

  • And identify tools for increasing SAF supply and demand, including buildout of relevant infrastructure

Proponents of AB 1322 say that, in addition to dramatically reducing emissions from aviation in California, it will also help to significantly expand the SAF industry as a whole.

As the bill headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk for signing, Rivas said, “Building a clean-energy economy takes building blocks like sustainable aviation fuel. SAF is 80 percent cleaner than traditional jet fuel, making it a vital tool to achieving California’s goal for a net-zero emission economy by 2045. AB 1322 rises to meet Gov. Newsom’s challenge to the Legislature to act more aggressively on climate issues. For decades, California’s policies have moved markets by incubating new technologies that change the world and propel our fight against climate change. Clean solar and wind power are now the least expensive forms of new energy because of California. Now, we must step up and lead the world to reduce the climate impacts from aviation. Today’s vote brings us one enormous step closer to solidifying our leadership in the SAF revolution.”

Bill Magavern, policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air, added, “Aviation is a growing source of emissions that cause air pollution and climate change. Therefore, we need to maximize the use of solutions like sustainable aviation fuel. Assemblymember Rivas’ AB 1322 maps the route for California to develop and implement a strategy for reaching a 20 percent sustainable aviation fuel target by 2030.”

Click here to read the bill.



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