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Biden Administration Wants To Wean All Airlines Off Fossil Fuels By 2050

As if we weren't throwing enough trillions of dollars away (or, should we say, printing enough trillions away) incentivizing ill conceived "green energy" subsidies, the Biden administration is now set to be targeting weaning all airlines off of fossil fuels by 2050. 

The idea, which is likely going to be laughably impossible to implement at any point in the near future, is part of the White House's plan to "fight climate change". It follows the Biden administration's push for auto manufacturers to go all electric and/or hybrid by 2030.

And how are they going to get airlines to go along with such an asinine idea and time schedule? You guessed it: offering cash in the form of incentives that we don't have. The administration is "contemplating incentives to support private-sector production of sustainable aviation fuel," according to Reuters. By 2050, the administration wants airlines to fly on 100% jet fuel from renewable sources, the report says.

Discussions are in "early stages", according to two sources. Meanwhile, sustainable aviation fuel is two to five times more expensive than conventional jet fuel. 

Ali Zaidi, the Deputy National Climate Advisor for the White House, said: “As part of the Build Back Better agenda, President Biden proposed catalytic investments to propel innovation and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels.”

Zaidi continued: “The administration is committed to advancing climate solutions in every sector and segment of the economy - with the urgency that the climate crisis demands.”

Electrification of airlines isn't an option, due to the weight of the batteries that would need to be used, the report notes. In Europe, regulators are trying to "force suppliers to blend rising amounts of SAF into their kerosene," which has been opposed by U.S. airlines, Reuters notes.

Fuel remains the second largest cost for airlines, other than labor. This means any additional costs due to implementing new fuel rules would likely be passed on to customers. 

Plane manufacturers are targeting planes and engines that can run without fossil fuels by 2025 to 2030. Meanwhile, congress is debating a tax credit of up to $2 per gallon for SAF - with money we don't have to spend.

By Zerohedge.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on August 17 2021 said:
    Weaning all airlines off fossil fuels by 2050 is a pie in the sky. Let me explain why.

    1-Biofuel Planes

    Biofuel planes are non-starters. The reason is that they will deprive a world facing the threat of food shortages in the very near future of agricultural land that is better used to bolster food production and feed a population projected to grow from 7.9 billion currently to 9.7 billion by 2050.

    A blending of aviation fuel with a small percentage of biofuels might prove a better alternative. Still, it will only lead to a minuscule reduction in global CO2 emissions.

    Moreover, the theory that we end up with zero emissions when burning organic matter because the carbon produced must have been absorbed while the organic matter was growing is too farfetched and moreover, it wouldn’t stand scrutiny.

    2-Electric Planes
    They aren’t going to fare better than electric vehicles (EVs). Moreover, carrying a number of very large and heavy batteries on board is neither practical nor safe. Furthermore, the emissions from making and de-commissioning lithium batteries are estimated to match if not exceed those from jet fuel.

    Hydrogen planes
    Producing green hydrogen from water by electrolysis using solar or nuclear energy is extremely expensive, at least twice that of fossil-based hydrogen and the quantity produced is minute. Also producing blue hydrogen from natural and grey hydrogen from fossil fuels is far more expensive than producing natural gas.

    Whether green, blue or grey, hydrogen is a non-starter. Moreover, it needs far more energy to produce than it will eventually provide. Furthermore, the safety factor alone will be a real drag on the practicability of hydrogen planes.

    In the final analysis, the most efficient way to reduce emissions from the aviation industry is continuing fuel efficiency. So the claim that it may become possible in the future to fly emissions-free will remain a myth maybe for ever.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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