Senator Reverend Warnock Introduces New Bill to Address Aviation Air Pollution, Spur Clean Energy Jobs in Georgia; Pushes for Inclusion in Economic Package

The Aviation Emissions Reduction Opportunity (AERO) Act would establish a new grant program to support the production and adoption of sustainable aviation fuel and other low-emission aviation technology
Senator Warnock has worked successfully to secure provisions of his AERO Act in the forthcoming economic package being debated by Congress
The aviation industry represents 11% of U.S. transportation-related emissions, new legislation aimed at reducing aviation emissions
Senator Reverend Warnock: “I am proud to introduce this bill to move us closer toward a zero-emission future, and provide additional support to our aviation partners so they can help keep our skies clean. I will continue pushing to ensure any economic legislation that comes out of Washington includes these strong sustainable aviation investments.”
Endorsers include Delta Air Lines, Gulfstream, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA), Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), Airlines for America, LanzaJet of Soperton, GA
Back in June, Sen. Warnock joined his colleagues in introducing the Sustainable Skies Act to further address harmful carbon emissions and promote the transition to sustainable aviation fuel

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) introduced new legislation to reduce air pollution, and spur clean energy job growth and innovation across the country. The Aviation Emissions Reduction Opportunity (AERO) Act, co-sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Gary Peters (D-MI) , and Alex Padilla (D-CA)will provide proactive investments to support the production and storage of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and other new technologies to reduce harmful air pollution and move the aviation industry toward a net zero-emission, more environmentally-friendly future. The new legislation tackles some of the aviation industry’s most pressing environmental concerns by addressing climate change, reducing harmful emissions, fostering low-emission aviation technology innovations, and investing in domestic SAF production.

“Georgia has one of the world’s busiest airports and most active aviation industries, so we must help lead the way in greening our planes and protecting our environment for generations to come,” said Senator Reverend WarnockI am proud to introduce this bill to move us closer toward a zero-emission future, and provide additional support to our aviation partners so they can help keep our skies clean. I will continue pushing to ensure any economic legislation that comes out of Washington includes these strong sustainable aviation investments.”

The Aviation Emissions Reduction Opportunity (AERO) Act would authorize a new federal grant program to help reduce aviation emissions. Specifically, the bill would provide $1 billion over five years in grants, with 30 percent of grants going to entities focused on developing, demonstrating, or applying low-emission aviation technology, and 70 percent of the funding dedicated to producing, transporting, or storing sustainable aviation fuels. Georgia is a national leader in aviation, and is home to one of the busiest airports in the world, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Senator Warnock’s new legislation will specifically benefit several Georgia aviation companies including Delta Air Lines, Gulfstream, and LanzaJet. The bill helps move the needle toward supplying 3 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel per year by 2030 and 35 billion gallons per year by 2050. Senator Warnock has been working to successfully secure a provision based on his AERO Act in the economic package being debated in Congress, and is fighting to make sure the provision remains in the legislation through on-going negotiations.

We’re standing at an inflection point to accelerate the sustainability of the aviation industry – and government grants are critical to enabling new Sustainable Aviation Fuel technologies to scale. The AERO Act will catalyze and de-risk the scale-up of new technologies – key to decarbonizing the aviation industry and achieving the administration’s goal of 3 billion gallons of domestic SAF production by 2030. Our success at LanzaJet, in particular at our first facility under construction in Soperton, Georgia, has been helped by government grants in our early stages of development, and a new grant program specifically targeted to the entire supply chain, including commercial deployment and downstream infrastructure, will greatly help to accelerate production of sustainable fuels. We applaud Senator Warnock’s leadership and look forward to developing a robust Sustainable Aviation Fuel industry in Georgia.” Jimmy Samartzis, CEO, LanzaJet

“A4A greatly appreciates the leadership of Senators Warnock, Cantwell, Peters and Padilla as we work together to rapidly expand the development, production and deployment of cost-competitive SAF and decarbonize commercial air travel through new technologies. The AERO Act would help enable the U.S. airline industry and our U.S. government partners to reach our ambitious goals of making 3 billion gallons of cost-competitive sustainable aviation fuel available for U.S. carriers to use in 2030 and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.” Nicholas E. Calio, President and CEO, Airlines for America

“Gulfstream has been a leader in the use of SAF for many years and is supportive of efforts to scale up SAF production. That’s why we are pleased to support Senator Warnock’s efforts to promote SAF and applaud his leadership in this area.” Mark Burns, President of Gulfstream Aerospace

“Congress will play a vital role as the general and business aviation industry continues to work towards its sustainability goals. The AERO Act complements our ongoing efforts to accelerate the uptake, distribution and use of SAF and spur investments in innovation and technological advancements.  We commend the leadership of Senators Warnock, Cantwell, Peters, and Padilla to put forth this important legislation that will further progress our sustainability efforts.” Pete Bunce, President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)

“Delta Air Lines applauds the leadership of Senators Warnock, Cantwell, Peters and Padilla who are working to grow the market for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and looks forward to continued engagement on policies that will reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the aviation sector. At Delta we believe that connecting the world and preserving it for future generations cannot be mutually exclusive.  As the world’s first carbon-neutral airline on a global basis we have committed to replacing 10 percent of our traditional fossil fuel with SAF by 2030, but currently all of the SAF available worldwide would only power one day of Delta flights pre-COVID. In order to achieve these important climate change goals, we need sensible policies like the AERO Act, that will help spur investment and deployment of lower carbon intensity fuels and technologies.” Amelia DeLuca, Managing Director – Sustainability, Delta Air Lines.

A proud champion for clean energy jobs and innovation across Georgia throughout the country, Senator Warnock recently met with Georgia leaders to discuss best practices and policies that would help Georgians thrive economically while being ecologically-smart and sustainable.

Read the full bill text here.

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