California Legislature Green-Lights Pair of RNG Bills

On the final day of California’s 2018 legislative session, a bill sponsored by the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) that would pave the way for a state renewable natural gas (RNG) procurement program was approved, passing 29-10 in its reconciliation in the Senate.

As approved, S.B.1440 authorizes the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in consultation with the California Air Resources Board, to adopt a biomethane (RNG) procurement program that would benefit ratepayers, proves to be cost-effective, and advances the state’s environmental and energy policies, the coalition explains. The legislation was introduced this year by State Sen. Ben Hueso.

“A renewable natural gas procurement program would create market certainty that industry developers need to access investment capital and build new projects in California,” says Johannes Escudero, CEO of the RNG Coalition. “Nearly 30 states have [renewable portfolio standard] programs in place, requiring electric utilities to procure and use increasing proportions of renewable energy. States should set similar renewable natural gas targets for gas utilities to create new in-state jobs, decarbonize our pipeline systems, reduce emissions and improve air quality.”

The RNG Coalition’s other sponsored bill this year, A.B.3187, passed the legislature by comfortable margins, the group notes. The bill requires the CPUC to open a proceeding to consider options to promote the in-state production and distribution of biomethane, including recovery in rates of the costs of interconnection infrastructure investments, by no later than July 1, 2019. It was unanimously approved (38-0) by the Senate on Aug. 27 after having passed the Assembly earlier this year.

Both bills now head to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown for approval.

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