NATSO, representing America's travel centers and truck stops, and SIGMA: America’s Leading Fuel Marketers, issued the following statement Jan. 10, 2023, in response to the Biden Administration's "U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization," which outlines the Administration's framework for cutting transportation emissions.
"We appreciate that the Biden Administration is prioritizing alternative fueling strategies to reduce carbon emissions and advance the adoption of emerging fuel technologies, but we are disappointed that the Administration ignored the harmful effects that come with incentivizing sustainable aviation fuel above over-the-road fuels that can be produced at less cost and have a more favorable environmental impact.
The nation's fuel retailers are eager to continue investing in alternative fuels, including electric vehicle charging, natural gas, and hydrogen and to offer consumers new fueling options alongside renewable diesel and biodiesel, which have been reducing carbon emissions for decades.
Touting sustainable aviation fuel as a "new method" for reducing transportation carbon emissions ignores the fact that it will unravel decades of existing carbon reductions in over-the-road transportation and increase fuel prices for commercial fleets. SAF proponents inaccurately assert that SAF production results in new, incremental reductions in carbon emissions. This is false. In fact, renewable jet fuel production is simply designed to displace existing and future, less expensive renewable diesel production.
The SAF tax credits established under the Inflation Reduction Act, and promoted in the Administration's blueprint, incentivize SAF production above renewable diesel and biodiesel. There are no new emissions savings with SAF. Increased use of SAF simply transfers emission reductions from the ground, where people live and work, to the skies as commercial trucks have less access to biodiesel and renewable diesel. It is inappropriate for the aviation sector to force taxpayers and consumers to underwrite their ambitious climate commitments.
Being a good steward of the climate and U.S. taxpayer dollars requires policies that ensure a level playing field for renewable fuels and that keep fuel costs low for consumers. In pushing for the airline industry to scale the use of sustainable aviation fuel, the Administration is effectively calling for an increase in ground-based emissions and higher fuel prices.
NATSO and SIGMA, which represent 80 percent of the nation’s fuel retailers, look forward to continued discussions with the Administration on alternative fueling policies."
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