Washington rounds out West Coast sustainability efforts
Washington state is currently the missing link in the West Coast’s sustainability in transportation vision, modeled after California’s ambitious push for emissions reduction, but plans in the state’s public and private sector indicate that it’ll soon match the efforts of their northern and southern neighbors.
Emulating the rest of the region, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) plans to slash its carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050, relative to their 2005 levels. In 2018, the Port of Seattle set a goal to power every flight fueled at SEA with at least a 10% blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2028, and is currently on track to meet that goal, said Stephanie Meyn, a SEA climate program manager, in an interview with Jet Fuel Innovation News.
SEA is a member of the recently reconvened Washington State Aviation Biofuels Work Group and a co-chair of the SAF Task Group within the Airport Council International (AC) North America, focused specifically on how airports can be helpful to the aviation industry’s quest for lower CO2 emissions.
“We have a comprehensive strategic plan that will help us reach our emissions reduction goals,” Meyn said. “It’ll require action in the policy realms, partnerships with airlines, and a lot of consideration surrounding our own financial and infrastructure roles.”
“We focus on the transportation-related emissions that we have ownership and control over,” Meyn continued. “For those things we have very aggressive goals.”
Seeking policy harmony with California, Oregon and British Columbia, Washington’s House of Representatives passed a bill establishing the Clean Fuels Program. The program is intended to limit carbon emissions per unit of transportation fuel energy to 20% below 2017 levels by 2035. As of 2015, the state’s transportation sector contributes 43% of its greenhouse gas emissions.
Although the bill died in the state Senate last year amid concerns over the impact on the transportation budget, it has already been reintroduced on the House floor. State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, who sponsored the bill, told Jet Fuel Innovation News it has a better chance of passing this time.
“There’s already more support among the business community and less competition with other climate-related bills,” said Fitzgibbon of the increased viability of House Bill 1110. “BP has gone from strong opposition to neutral and Alaska Airlines recently came out in support of it. This year, it is the state legislature’s number one priority regarding climate.”
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