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Innovative Technology Makes Aviation History

United Airlines made aviation history this month by bringing commercial-scale renewable jet fuel to Los Angeles through its partner AltAir, bolstered by a grant from the California Energy Commission.

The airline has been making flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco for the past two weeks on aircraft powered by a jet fuel that has a carbon intensity that is 60 percent less than that of petroleum jet fuel.



The advanced technology is helping California reach its clean air goals and reduce air pollution. That is why the Energy Commission provided a $5 million grant to AltAir through its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The grant enabled AltAir to expand its production capacity by 10 million gallons per year. With that expansion, AltAir partnered with United to provide the renewable jet fuel for commercial operations for flights throughout the country.

AltAir has also provided the U.S. Navy with enough biofuel for its “Green Fleet” project, using military-specific renewable diesel to fuel four vessels in San Diego in January. The initiative was the first of its kind for the Navy. The AltAir project has supported more than 300 direct and indirect jobs ranging from production of non-edible vegetable oils, waste fats and greases to biorefinery operations. Its production facility is at a former oil refinery in Paramount, near Los Angeles, which has a 22 percent poverty rate and a 13 percent unemployment rate.

Wisely invested state funds are growing high tech startups, spurring employment opportunities where they are most needed and reducing pollution to make the air healthier to breathe. This is how California leads.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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