Lawmakers propose SAF tax credit

May 21, 2021
Ending the week with news from Congress on a proposed tax credit for sustainable aviation fuel, Biden’s top scientist, and closing patent gaps—plus, how you can travel to five continents in two days, no quarantine required. (622 words, 3 minutes, 6 seconds)
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Ending the week with news from Congress on a proposed tax credit for sustainable aviation fuel, Biden’s top scientist, and closing patent gaps—plus, how you can travel to five continents in two days, no quarantine required. (622 words, 3 minutes, 6 seconds)

 

Lawmakers propose SAF tax credit

 
 

This week we learned that climate change causes billions of dollars in health costs and air pollution is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s—and we need to do much more to reach net-zero by 2050 or we risk catastrophic climate effects. Legislation introduced in the House this week could help.

Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL), Dan Kildee (D-MI), and Julia Brownley (D-CA) introduced the Sustainable Skies Act, which would create a tax credit for sustainable aviation fuel through the end of 2031.

The details:The legislation would create a tax credit starting at $1.50 per gallon for blenders that supply sustainable aviation fuel with a demonstrated 50% or greater lifecycle estimate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to standard jet fuel,” says the press release. “[T]he legislation provides an additional credit of $0.01/gallon for each percentage the fuel reduces emissions over 50%.”

Here's what they're saying:

  • "The Sustainable Skies Act will halve carbon emissions while also enabling more travel and commerce, a win-win for Americans today and our future generations," said Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10).
  • “The Sustainable Skies Act is a critical step on our path to decarbonize United and the broader aviation industry," said Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines.
  • “The use of high-integrity sustainable aviation fuels is critical to reducing aviation’s climate impact," said Elizabeth Gore, Senior Vice President of Political Affairs, Environmental Defense Fund.

BIO supports the legislation—sending a letter for support to the co-sponsors (which includes BIO members Gevo, Lanzatech, Velocys, and Virent) and joining a coalition letter of airlines, fuel producers, and airports in support, too. 

Dr. Michelle’s Diagnosis: This bill to incentivize the production and use of sustainable aviation fuels is critical if we are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. transportation sector and truly address climate change. It will bolster rural economies across the country by creating new revenue streams for agricultural producers and value-added markets for waste products. BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath


More Agriculture & Environment News:

STAT News: To help solve climate change, look to the biosciences
"The biosciences, including biotechnology, will play a pivotal role in the fight against climate change. It is already leading the way on several fronts. According to a report from BIO, the organization I work for, the biotech industry’s green initiatives could mitigate the equivalent of 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year by 2030, or about half of the country’s annual CO2 emissions."

Agri-Pulse: USDA sets strategy for expanding 'climate-smart' ag, ensuring all farmers benefit
"The Agriculture Department issued a climate strategy Thursday that heavily focuses on measuring the impact of climate-friendly practices, taking steps to facilitate private carbon markets and ensuring all farmers can benefit financially from addressing climate change."

 
 
 
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More news from Capitol Hill: Biden’s top scientist, closing patent gaps, and more

 
 

To close out the week, here’s a few more things you might have missed in Congress. 

The Senate Commerce Committee approved the nomination of Eric Lander, President Biden’s pick to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. 

He’s the last Cabinet pick awaiting confirmation—“and would be the first biomedical scientist to take this job,” says POLITICO.

You might know him. A geneticist who was part of the Human Genome Project, Lander is the director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Previously, he was co-chair of President Obama’s Presidential Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.

“Lander’s nomination will now head to the Senate floor, where it will need 51 votes to pass. The bipartisan nod from the Senate Commerce Committee suggests that Lander will likely be confirmed without much difficulty,” reports POLITICO.

In other news, the Senate adopted the Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement (IDEA) Act, a bill introduced by Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Thom Tillis (R-NC)  that would seek to close the gap that women and minorities face when procuring patent rights in the United States. The bill was adopted as an amendment to the Endless Frontier Act with a strong bipartisan vote. BIO has endorsed this legislation.

ICYMI: CDC Director Rochelle Walensky testified on the agency’s FY22 budget request on Wednesday—read what she said about funding public health infrastructure and a BARDA purchase agreement for 400 million COVID booster shots.

 
 
 
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BIO Digital 2021
 
 

Want to travel to five continents in two days—no quarantine required?

Starting June 10, join us at BIO Digital for the interactive, virtual Global Marketplace, where you can hear fast pitches from global and regional biotech hubs from around the world.

Watch as we explain more:

 
BIO Digital Global Marketplace
 

Get a head start at BIO Digital June 10-11 by visiting the entire Innovation Stage featuring key sectors of the biotech ecosystem including Global Marketplace, Patient Central, Solutions Exchange, and NIH Innovation Zone. 

Get more details and register today.

 
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BIO Beltway Report
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President Biden’s Friday: Meeting at the White House with President of Korea Moon Jae-In. 

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: Enjoy the weekend.

 
 
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