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Cantwell Announces Funding Opportunity for New Sustainable … – Senate Commerce Committee

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Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, announced the first round of applications for the Department of Transportation’s new Fueling Aviation’s Sustainable Transition Sustainable Aviation Fuel (FAST-SAF) and Low-Emission Aviation Technology (FAST-TECH) grant program designed to invest in building sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply chains and developing low-emission aviation technologies. Enacted via the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022, Sen. Cantwell authored the program and urged its inclusion in the final bill. As Commerce Chair, Sen. Cantwell continues to lead Congressional efforts this year to reauthorize the FAA and increase the adoption of low-emission and innovative aviation technologies for cleaner, quieter and more affordable air travel.
“Grant programs like this, combined with tax credits, can help build scalable solutions for sustainable aviation fuel, support low emissions technology, and drive down long-term costs,” said Sen. Cantwell. “With the State of Washington at the forefront of next generation aviation development, local companies and communities are well positioned to compete for grants and grow a sustainable aviation fuels industry in the Pacific Northwest.”
This new $297 million competitive grant program will enable state and local governments, airport sponsors, companies, research institutions and non-profits to produce, transport, blend or store sustainable aviation fuel and develop or apply low-emission aviation technologies. Sustainable aviation fuel has the potential to reduce aviation lifecycle gas emissions in modern jets by up to 80 percent in comparison to conventional petroleum-based jet fuel. The grant program would incentivize scaling up the production of SAF and create jobs and economic opportunities for the nation’s farmers, manufacturers, start-ups and others in the biofuels supply chain.

Sen. Cantwell has long been a champion of sustainable aviation fuels and lowering the carbon footprint of the aviation sector. Along with Washington state aviation and environmental leaders, she pushed for the inclusion of the FAST-SAF and FAST-TECH grant program and SAF blender’s tax credit in the Build Back Better package at a press conference held at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in October 2021. Sen. Cantwell hosted U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Granholm at SeaTac in August 2022 to showcase how the Pacific Northwest is leading the way in sustainable aviation fuels commitments and investments. In 2019, Sen. Cantwell partnered with her Senate colleagues to introduce the Sustainable Skies Act, a version of which was also incorporated in the Inflation Reduction Act to provide a tax credit to increase the supply of sustainable aviation fuel. Sen. Cantwell also joined a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in May 2023 expressing continued support for implementing the sustainable aviation fuel tax credit as intended to effectively scale up the domestic production of sustainable aviation fuel.

Applications are due November 27, 2023. View the FAST-SAF and FAST-TECH Notice of Funding Opportunity here.

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