Biden Administration Defines ‘Climate-Smart’ SAF Subsidy Program

The new guidance outlines how corn farmers can qualify for subsidies to supply feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

An aviation maintenance technician loads sustainable aviation fuel into a 2021 Boeing Demonstrator. [Courtesy: Boeing]

The Biden administration has established rules for corn farmers to qualify for subsidies to supply feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The corn is now used to make ethanol, which is added to gasoline, but the move to electric cars will diminish that market. Ethanol can be turned into jet-A, however, and will cut the carbon footprint of jet fuel.

The administration is proposing subsidies from $1.25 to $1.75 a gallon for farmers but only if they meet some conditions.

The farmers will have to use “climate-smart” farming practices, including the use of approved fertilizers. The resulting fuel must cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least half compared to jet-A made from fossil fuels.

The measures were met with approval from the farm community, but environmentalists are less enthusiastic. They are concerned a flood of ethanol-based SAF will hinder development of fuels that are even greener that the corn-based product.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on AVweb.

Russ Niles
Russ NilesContributor
Russ Niles has been a journalist for 40 years, a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb in 2003. When he’s not writing about airplanes he and his wife Marni run a small winery in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.

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