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Port Testifies in Support of Clean Fuel Standard Legislation

March 19, 2019

OLYMPIA – On behalf of the Port of Seattle and Northwest Seaport Alliance, Commissioner and Managing Member Ryan Calkins today testified at the Washington Senate Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee in support of House Bill 1110, legislation that would create a Clean Fuel Standard for Washington state.

A clean fuel standard policy will help advance full-scale implementation of a Sustainable Aviation Fuel program for flights originating at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, a central step towards reducing carbon emissions associated with Port operations and facilities.

Commissioner Calkins’ testimony follows.

Thank you, Chairman Carlyle, Ranking Member Ericksen, members of the Committee.

My name is Ryan Calkins, and I am a Commissioner at the Port of Seattle and a Managing Member of the Northwest Seaport Alliance.

I am here on behalf of the Northwest Seaport Alliance and the Port of Seattle to testify in support of House Bill 1110, that proposes enacting a Clean Fuel Standard in Washington state.

The Port of Seattle Commission and Seaport Alliance leadership have set aggressive goals for reducing the carbon emissions associated with our operations and facilities.

Central to those goals is our push for the full-scale implementation of Sustainable Aviation Fuels for flights originating at Sea-Tac Airport.

In December 2017, the Commission adopted the most forward-looking sustainable aviation fuel targets of any airport in the world, seeking to power every flight fueled at Sea-Tac Airport with sustainable aviation fuel by 2028.

Aviation accounts for roughly two percent of global GHG emissions, but is projected to increase as a percentage because of the technological challenges of powering airplanes with anything other than combustible fuels. 

The adoption of a Clean Fuel Standard has been recommended to the Legislature by its Sustainable Aviation Biofuels Work Group as a key policy that is essential for our efforts.

But this is about more than just cleaner fuels for airplanes leaving Sea-Tac.

Enacting a clean fuel standard will improve air quality in some of our communities most burdened by air pollution, and as biofuel demand increases it can even become an affordable alternative to conventional transportation fuel. Studies have shown that these fuels reduce particulate and sulfur emissions by at least 30%. Sustainable aviation fuel has been shown to reduce particulate emissions by 40 to 70%, depending on how much jet fuel it’s blended with.

As you will hear from others today, the clean fuel demand generated by low carbon fuel standards in California and Oregon is helping to reduce emissions in those states but making it more difficult to secure renewable products in other states, including Washington.

Propel Fuels, originally a Seattle-based company, moved its operations to California because of increased demand for renewable fuels and a more lucrative market.

Passage of a statewide clean fuel standard will attract producers back to Washington, along with the jobs, energy security, and local air quality benefits that come with it.  

For this reason, we urge you to support the bill before you today, House Bill 1110.

Thank you, I look forward to your questions.


Perry Cooper | Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
(206) 787-4923 |

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