RNG Recommendations Included in CEC's 2017 Draft Integrated Energy Policy Report

The California Energy Commission (CEC) issued its 2017 Draft Integrated Energy Policy Report this month. The draft report includes a lengthy section (chapter 9) dedicated to renewable gas that concludes with policy recommendations.

Notably included among the more than fifteen recommendations are for the state to: 

  • Encourage RNG for use in state fleets;
  • Continue the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS); and
  • Implement policies to build commercial markets for RNG.

Access the Report Draft HERE.  The policy recommendations span portions of the last four pages.

California Grant Opportunities: Addressing Barriers to Near-Zero Emission NGV Adoption, and Low Carbon Fuel R&D

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is seeking applicants until November 27 for a grant funding opportunity to address barriers to wider adoption of near-zero emission natural gas vehicles.

The CEC also seeks applicants for federal cost share for cutting-edge, pre-commercial low-carbon fuel production systems with wide-scale adoption potential, in line with California’s greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts. Electronic applications are due October 26.

Energy Vision Announces 2017 Awards to Companies Advancing RNG Made from Organic Waste

On October 18, non-profit organization Energy Vision announced awards to three innovative companies advancing renewable natural gas (RNG) made from organic waste: AmerescoQuantum Biopower, and CCI Bioenergy.

In Arizona, RNG Coalition member Ameresco worked with Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale and Glendale to develop/design/build/own/operate a wastewater treatment biogas facility to serve the region:  Phoenix's 91st Ave Wastewater Treatment Plant.  It will be the largest wastewater treatment biogas-to-RNG facility in the U.S., with enough RNG capacity to displace more than four million gallons of diesel annually.

DMT Clear Gas Solutions to Provide Upgrading Technology for Honolulu Wastewater-to-RNG Project

RNG Coalition member DMT Clear Gas Solutions was awarded the contract to supply the biogas upgrading technology for the wastewater-to-RNG project at Honolulu's wastewater treatment plant.

Renewable gas from the plant will comprise 2.8% of the gas used in Hawaii. RNG used from the facility will be equivalent to supplanting the use of nearly 15,000 barrels of oil, and will achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to annually removing 400 cars from the road. 

Read the full Press Release HERE.

RNG Coalition Comments on EPA's Request for Further Comment on 2018 RFS Volumes

On October 19, RNG Coalition staff submitted comments in response to EPA's proposed changes to the 2018 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO).

While EPA's late September Notice of Data Availability does not include proposed reductions in cellulosic biofuel, it indicated that EPA is considering reductions in the RFS obligations for the advanced biofuel, biomass-based diesel (BBD) and total renewable categories, and exploring further use of EPA's waiver authority.

Pruitt Responds to RFS Meetings with Letter: Point of Obligation Change to be Rejected, 2018 RFS Volumes at or Above Those in Draft Rule

On October 19, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a letter to several Midwestern senators that reaffirms EPA’s commitment to uphold the laws passed by Congress, to finalize the 2018 Renewable Volume Obligations by November 30 at volumes equal to or greater than those proposed, and to officially reject a requested change in point of obligation from refiners to blenders within 30 days. 

Rural governors tell Trump: 'Fulfill your promises' on biofuels, while biofuel state Senators meet with Pruitt

By Cody Boteler, Waste Dive. 

In a letter to President Trump, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, joined by the governors of Kansas, Missouri and South Dakota, expressed concern for how Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has acted regarding the renewable fuel standard (RFS). The governors said the EPA seeking comment on cuts to 2018-2019 RFS volumes, and signaling an intent to waive volumes for 2018, showed "a willingness to upend a decision producers and other stakeholders have already relied upon to make investments, contractual commitments and create jobs." In a press conference Wednesday, Reynolds said the administration was "feeling the pressure" and that biofuel supporters "can't let down."

Michigan Tech Study Finds Biomethane is Means to Reduce GHG Footprint of Natural Gas

Via Newswise.

Methane is far more damaging as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide—25 times more so. The gas, which is produced by decomposing organic materials in the absence of air, not only traps heat efficiently but is also a health and safety hazard because it's so concentrated in landfills. About half of the landfills in the US collect and burn methane, mitigating the danger but still contributing to atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide levels. Animal manure decomposition on farms is the main contributor of methane emissions in agriculture.

Gov. Brown Signs Bill Extending Requirement for Funding of Clean HD Trucks

On October 10, Governor Brown signed AB1073, which extends the requirement for funding of early deployment of clean heavy-duty trucks as part of California’s Clean Truck, Bus and Off-Road Vehicle program. The bill was sponsored by Eduardo Garcia, whose actions in the legislature have shown his support for growth of the RNG industry. 

This bill was supported by the RNG Coalition, but opposed by some staff at the Air Resources Board because it mandates that funds go toward natural gas vehicle deployment. RNG Coalition staff interprets this as a positive signal to our industry from the Administration.