Air Board Prepares for New Climate Change Scoping Plan

At the Air Board’s April hearing, Air Board staff provided an overview of the next Climate Change Scoping Plan update, including the timeline to develop the plan and some major new areas it will include. The Scoping Plan provides the framework for achieving California’s climate goals.  Air Board staff proposed several new focus areas for the next Scoping Plan that are directly related to bioenergy, including:

  • Consideration of a renewable gas procurement requirement
  • A plan for achieving carbon neutrality by mid-century
  • Incorporating Natural and Working Lands into the Scoping Plan

See:  ARB presentation on Climate Scoping Plan (4.23.20)

BAC Comments on CalRecycle SB 1383 Regulations

BAC submitted comments on CalRecycle’s October 2019 draft of regulations to implement the  organic waste diversion requirements of SB 1383.  CalRecycle expanded the list of eligible alternatives to landfilling to include electricity, heating, and vehicle production from diverted organic waste.  The draft regulations also include electricity generation from biomass conversion, but the October draft deleted pipeline biogas, which could exclude the use of biogas for cooking, commercial and industrial purposes.

See BAC Comments on Proposed Changes to Organics Regs (Oct 18, 2019)

CalRecycle Released Nearly Final SB 1383 Regulations

SB 1383 (Lara, 2016) requires local jurisdictions to divert 50 percent of organics going to landfills by 2020 and 75 percent by 2025.   In October, CalRecycle released the nearly final regulations to implement these requirements.  The regulations focus on procurement of bioenergy or compost as the compliance mechanism and establish specific procurement amounts.  For bioenergy, the draft regulations allow conversion of diverted organic waste to electricity, heating, and vehicle fuel.  The draft regulations also allow biomass conversion to electricity.

See, SLCPFormalProposedRegulationTextOct2019

CalRecycle Proposes Organics Diversion Regulations

In January 2019, CalRecycle issued draft regulations to implement the organic waste diversion requirements of SB 1383 (Lara, 2016).  SB 1383 requires local jurisdictions to divert 50 percent of organic waste away from landfills by 2022 and 75 percent by 2025.  CalRecycle issued draft regulations in 2018, which BAC and others commented on to urge CalRecycle to allow all end uses of bioenergy produced from diverted organic waste and to allow all eligible conversion technologies to meet the diversion requirements.

In January, CalRecycle issued the first formal draft of SB 1383 regulations.  See CalRecycle Proposed SB 1383 regulations (Jan2019)

Governor, Legislature Agree on $1.4 Billion Cap & Trade Investment Plan

The Governor and Legislature have reached agreement on how to spend $1.4 billion in Cap & Trade auction revenues.  The bioenergy related funding allocations in the Cap & Trade Investment Plan are:

  • $175 million for clean vehicle rebate program
  • $180 million for clean trucks, buses and offroad vehicles
  • $112 million for agricultural diesel engine replacement
  • $12.5 million for low carbon fuel production
  • $5 million for Healthy Soils
  • $210 million for healthy forests and forest carbon
  • $99 million for dairy methane reduction
  • $25 million for waste diversion
  • $40 million for transformative climate communities/research

This is the full Cap & Trade Investment Plan 2018-19

CA Legislature Passes Bills to Reauthorize Cap & Trade, Low Carbon Fuel Standard

California’s Legislature has passed a package of bills to extend the state’s Cap & Trade program and Low Carbon Fuel Standard to 2030.  The bills passed with a 2/3 vote, which provides much greater legal certainty for the programs than they have had for the past decade.  Although California extended AB 32 with legislation – SB 32 – that passed in 2016, SB 32 passed with only a majority vote.  That was sufficient to extend regulatory programs to reduce climate pollution and to increase the required reduction to a 40 percent reduction by 2030.  The Governor wanted a 2/3 vote for extension of the Cap & Trade program, however, since it involves an optional fee to purchase allowances and could be subject to legal challenges without a 2/3 vote.

The three bills included in the 2/3 vote are:

1) AB 398 (E. Garcia) – extends Cap & Trade and the LCFS programs to 2030; states that the intent of the Legislature is that cap & Trade revenues will focus on reduction of short-lived climate pollutants and other air pollutants, healthy forests and sustainable agriculture, low and zero carbon fuels, and R&D related to clean energy and climate issues.

2) AB 617 (C. Garcia) – increases monitoring and penalty provisions for air quality protection.

3) ACA 1 – requires that an initiative be placed on the 2018 ballot that asks voters to require a 2/3 vote in 2024 to authorize expenditure of Cap & Trade revenues.