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Wed, Apr 05, 2023

Washington State Legislature Considers SAF Bills

A Tale of Two States

Washington State—home of America’s most precipitously declining city, Seattle, and a legal system which has decriminalized the injection, ingestion, inhalation, or introduction of controlled substances into the body—has assumed the moral high-ground with regard to the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF).

Two bills currently before the Washington State Legislature, if adopted, stand to make the Evergreen State among the most competitive places in the world to produce and utilize SAF. Senate Bill 5447 seeks to establish a combination of tax incentives and clean-fuel standards for SAF production. Additionally, House Bill 1216 seeks to facilitate the siting of SAF or other clean energy facilities in regions around the state.

The two bills, if ratified, would position Washington State at the vanguard of the aviation industry’s decarbonization initiatives and occasion substantial new economic stimulus in the Pacific Northwestern state. The bills could also give rise to a spate of jobs for workers in clean industries—a presumed boon lawmakers in Olympia assert is critical to ensuring a “just” transition for working Washingtonians.

The Washington State House and Senate committees currently considering the aforementioned bills must pass each by 04 April 2023 if the measures are to advance.

Since the 1916 founding of Bill Boeing’s airplane factory in a red barn on the banks of the Duwamish River, Washington State has been at the forefront of the U.S. aviation industry. Throughout the state, aerospace concerns the likes of Everett’s magniX, Arlington’s Eviation, Auburn’s Blue Origin, and Yakima’s CubCrafters have led their respective sectors in the design and manufacturing of conventional aircraft, spacecraft and orbital launch systems, and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) platforms the likes of electric and hybrid-electric aircraft and aircraft propulsion systems.

Notwithstanding Boeing’s 2001 exodus from Seattle, Washington State’s aerospace industry supports over 250,000 jobs and boasts annual revenues in excess of $70-billion. Approximately fifty-percent of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites are manufactured in Washington, and the state’s combined aviation and space sectors are predicted to grow five-percent annually, reaching $558-billion in 2026.

Globally, the aviation industry facilitates the movement of $7-trillion worth of goods and accounts for north of 88-million jobs. Prevailed upon balefully and relentlessly by politicians preoccupied more so with optics and reelection than the wellbeing of their respective constituencies, aviation industry leaders have pledged—as it were—to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. To meet this widely touted if not realistic goal, air-carriers and aerospace manufacturers have set out to develop and operate clean-running, low-emission propulsion systems and aerodynamically hyper-efficient aircraft.

FMI: http://choosewashingtonstate.com/why-washington/our-key-sectors/aerospace/

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