Latest Treasury Guidance on Sustainable Aviation Fuel 40B Tax Credit Raises Questions about Scientific Rigor and the Future of Fueling Aviation Sustainably

Statement by Mark Brownstein, EDF Senior Vice President, Energy Transition

April 30, 2024
Debora Schneider, (212) 616-1377,
Erica Fick, (213) 435-7160,

Washington, D.C. – The Department of the Treasury today issued guidance clarifying under which conditions sustainable aviation fuels will qualify for the 40B tax credit created by the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act.

“Today’s actions highlight that significant questions remain as to whether and how to credit certain beneficial agricultural practices in the context of implementing the 40B sustainable aviation fuel tax credit. The science matters and we are concerned this decision may have missed the mark, but we are carefully reviewing the details before reaching any final conclusions.

The bottom line is that to decarbonize aviation, U.S. airlines need a volume of alternative fuels that sustainable biomass alone cannot meet. EDF will continue to urge policymakers to focus future IRA tax subsidies on scaling next generation aviation fuels essential to reducing climate pollution and creating a competitive advantage for innovative U.S. alternative fuel suppliers.”

Under section 40B of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, federal tax credits were established for sustainable aviation fuels that cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent. It was left to the executive branch to apply established science in deciding how to measure whether aviation fuels meet that standard.

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