Coalition Accelerates RNG Education Efforts

The Coalition is stepping up its efforts to educate state policy makers about the financial and environmental benefits of using RNG as a transportation fuel. In the past three weeks, the Coalition has hosted an RNG advocacy day in Sacramento, participated in a joint agency workshop on renewable gas, and co-hosted a webinar on the economic impacts of fueling low-NOx natural gas trucks with RNG.

“As policy discussions around RNG begin to heat up, we’re working hard to provide an educational foundation that will help legislators and their staffs make sound decisions about RNG’s use as an immediately available alternative fuel,” said Coalition President Thomas Lawson.

Researchers report on RNG’s potential

On June 27, the CEC, CARB, and the California Public Utilities Commission held the Joint Agency Workshop on Renewable Gas, which focused on developing biomethane, biogas, and renewable gas as electricity and transportation fuels in California. Several participants presented reports, including researchers from the University of California, Davis, Institute of Transportation Studies and the consulting firm ICF.

According to the Institute of Transportation Studies’ report, “The Feasibility of Renewable Natural Gas as a Large-Scale, Low Carbon Substitute,” California could produce as much as 90.6 billion cubic feet per year of RNG (equal to 750 million gallons of gasoline). Also, RNG could achieve “significant market penetration by the 2020s” if Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits are priced at $120 per metric ton of CO2 and combined with credits from the federal Renewable Fuel Standard program. The main barriers to widespread RNG adoption are the high costs of interconnecting the gas pipelines and upgrading pipeline standards, the report says.

ICF suggested creating a renewable gas standard, which could increase price and supply certainty without disrupting existing successful RNG markets. ICF also said that efforts to increase demand for RNG should target growth in the heavy-duty truck sector.

Advocacy day focuses on legislators and their staffs

On June 28, Lawson hosted the CNGVC’s first RNG advocacy day for California state legislators and their staff members. Throughout the day, Coalition members held 25 meetings with various policy makers, including those serving on the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, Senate Environmental Quality Committee, and both houses’ Appropriations and Transportation Committees.

Webinar covers use of RNG with low-NOx trucks

Finally, the Coalition, ICF, and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas jointly hosted a free webinar on July 14 about deploying RNG in low-NOx natural gas trucks. Johannes Escudero, CEO and executive director of the RNG Coalition, and Philip Sheehy, ICF’s technical director, joined Lawson in covering the opportunities for using low-NOx natural gas trucks fueled by RNG produced in California, the economic impacts, and the current policy climate for RNG and NGVs. They also discussed methods to produce more RNG in-state, including through dairy feed stocks.

“Low-NOx trucks fueled by RNG present a compelling economic and environmental opportunity. And researchers are demonstrating that RNG has enormous potential as a sustainable, ultralow-carbon transportation fuel in California,” said Lawson.