Port Urges Enactment of Statewide Clean Fuels Standard

Sustainable fuels

The Port of Seattle Commission and Executive Director Metruck sent a letter to the Senate Transportation Committee urging continued progress toward securing enactment of a statewide Clean Fuels Standard by advancing E2SHB 1110 in the Senate.

Read the letter:

Senate Transportation Committee
311 J.A. Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0466 

Re: Support for E2SHB 1110

Members of the Committee:

The Port of Seattle urges your continued progress toward securing enactment of a statewide Clean Fuels Standard by advancing E2SHB 1110.

The impacts of climate change on our businesses, communities and environment are increasingly apparent and need to be addressed decisively. The experience of our neighboring West Coast states clearly demonstrate that clean fuels standard policies cost effectively reduce pollution and create jobs.

California has displaced more than fifteen billion gallons of petroleum fuel since enacting its standard in 2011, and more than thirty new biorefinery projects have been announced to serve that market.1 Oregon has eliminated more than 1.7 million metric tons of CO2.2

Washington has 138 public airports in 37 of its 39 counties. Our deep, protected harbors and proximity to markets along the Pacific Rim have afforded us natural advantages in maritime trade which underpin our economy. At the Port, we’re committed to reducing the impacts of trade and travel on our health, environment and climate. In Washington state, the entire transportation sector, which includes aviation, cars, trucks, boats, and trains, is responsible for 40 percent of our state’s carbon emissions.3

Importantly, despite assertions otherwise, the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) shows that gas prices in Los Angeles, California are approximately 40 cents per gallon lower today than the average price when the standard was introduced in 2011.4 Remarkably, the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) also reports that in January, the nation’s most profitable gasoline sales were made by the refineries serving communities between Everett and Vancouver, which reported on average a 61 cent per gallon margin for gasoline and 70 cents for diesel - substantially more than even the most extreme claims of costs associated with a clean fuels standard.5

The Port of Seattle Commission has set aggressive goals for reducing the carbon emissions associated with our operations and facilities. Central to those goals is our pursuit of having Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) comprise 10 percent of the fuel used at Sea-Tac Airport by 2028. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, renewable fuels significantly reduce particulates and other pollutants from all forms of transportation. Studies have shown that these alternative fuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent, and fine particulate emissions up to 70 percent which will improve the air quality in some of our communities most burdened by air pollution.6,7,8

We have undertaken a study with Washington State University on “Potential Northwest Regional Feedstock and Production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel,” to be published later this spring. That study’s draft findings indicate that Washington state is poised to benefit from new economic activity associated with the development of sustainable aviation fuel. There is enough municipal solid waste and forest residue in the Northwest region to meet the Port of Seattle’s goal of 10 percent SAF adoption by 2028, and that production would generate jobs locally.

Washington state is a global leader in aviation, maritime and alternative energy innovation, supporting thousands of jobs across many economic sectors throughout the region. A statewide Clean Fuels Standard will reduce impacts on our climate, environment and communities while supporting broad-based economic activity and promoting the jobs of the future.

For these reasons, we urge the passage of E2SHB 1110 through the Senate Transportation Committee and are prepared to assist in its passage through the full Senate.

Thank you for your consideration.


Peter Steinbrueck
Port of Seattle Commission

Stephanie Bowman

Ryan Calkins

Fred Felleman

Sam Cho

Stephen P. Metruck
Executive Director

2 Oregon’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions through 2015: An assessment of Oregon’s sector-based and consumption based greenhouse gas emissions. May 2018.
3 Washington Department of Ecology. Washington State Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory: 1990-2015. Report to the Legislature, 2018.
5 OPIS Retail Fuel Watch, January 16, 2020.
6 International Air Transport Association (IATA). Sustainable Aviation Fuels. Fact Sheet 5.
8 Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and Western WA Clean Cities. Renewable Diesel in Washington.