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California awards $18.7 million to CalBio and Maas Energy to Reduce Dairy Methane

The California Department of Food and Agriculture just awarded $18.7 million dollars to BAC members California Bioenergy and Maas Energy for a total of 14 new dairy digesters in California. Together, these 14 projects will cut greenhouse gas emissions by almost 2 million metric tons over the next 10 years. Even more importantly for the climate, dairy digesters avoid methane emissions, which are many times more damaging to the climate than the carbon dioxide emitted from fossil fuel burning. Climate scientists have said that methane reductions are the most critical step we can take to address climate change.

According to the California Air Resources Board, the state’s investments in dairy digesters are also the most cost-effective of all of the state’s investments in reducing carbon emissions – on average, dairy digesters cut carbon emissions for the tiny cost of just $9 per ton, compared to an average cost of $75 per ton and some measures costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars per ton of carbon reduction.

CalBio and Maas Energy have led the development of dairy digesters in California and are leading the state in methane reductions, as well as providing carbon negative fuels and power. By providing carbon negative energy, they are also helping to meet California’s goal of carbon neutrality.

For more information about the grants and CDFA’s dairy digester program, click here.

WATCH: Mainspring Energy Converts Landfill Gas to electricity

WATCH local news coverage of Mainspring Energy’s linear generator, which is converting landfill methane to renewable electricity in Yolo County. Using its non-combustion technology, Mainspring can reduce methane emissions and provide renewable electricity.

According to climate scientists around the world, cutting methane and other Short-Lived Climate Pollutants is the most urgent step we can take to address climate change because it begins to benefit the climate right away. Steps to reduce fossil fuel burning, on the other hand, take decades to begin to benefit the climate. Cutting methane and other SLCP emissions buys us time until fossil fuel reductions begin to benefit the climate. SLCP reductions also benefit public health since SLCPs are also powerful air pollutants.

Learn more about Mainspring Energy and its linear generator technology here.

BAC Comments on Proposed Changes to the LCFS

BAC submitted comments to the Air Resources Board on proposed changes to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program, including:

  • Support for increasing the carbon intensity requirement for 2030 and establishing 5-year interim targets between 2025 and 2045.
  • Need to prioritize fuels that reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants to meet the requirements of SB 1383.
  • Adopt incentives to support instate biofuels generated from organic waste.
  • Support adoption of sustainability criteria for biofuels.
  • Need to add “book and claim” for hydrogen and electricity generated from biogas, consistent with the RPS.
  • Need to accurately account for avoided landfill emissions.

Read BAC’s comments on proposed changes to the LCFS:

California Air Board Proposes Changes to Low Carbon Fuel Standard

The Low Carbon Fuels Standard Program has helped to reduce the carbon intensity of on-road vehicle fuels by nearly 10 percent over the last decade, largely thanks to increased biofuels production. Unfortunately, LCFS credit prices have dropped more than 50 percent, which threatens to slow California’s progress in reducing transportation climate emissions. To address the issue and better align the LCFS program with California’s climate goals, program staff presented several potential changes to the program, including increasing the required carbon reductions by 2030, including Sustainable Aviation Fuels, adopting sustainability criteria for biofuels, and more.

See the LCFS program staff presentation here.

BAC Comments on the Draft 2022 Climate Scoping Plan

BAC submitted comments on the Draft 2022 Climate Change Scoping Plan focused on several important issues:

  1. BAC supports Alternate 3 as the Proposed Scenario, with some modifications, as
    it will provide the greatest benefits with the fewest downsides.
  2. The Proposed Scenario correctly includes bioenergy and renewable hydrogen,
    but should include specific recommendations to accelerate their use.
  3. The Proposed Scenario also correctly includes CCSU as an essential strategy to
    reduce emissions quickly and to reach carbon neutrality.
  4. The Scoping Plan should focus much more on SLCP reductions and other
    measures that benefit the climate in the near term.
  5. Analysis and recommendations should be based on lifecycle emissions rather
    than broad generalizations about different technologies, fuels, and strategies.
  6. The Scoping Plan should focus transportation and vehicle strategies on
    opportunities to reduce climate and air pollution in the near term.
  7. The Scoping Plan should provide a full and accurate assessment of technically
    available forest and agricultural waste biomass.

California Air Board Releases Draft 2022 Climate Change Scoping Plan

The Air Resources Board released its draft 2022 Climate Change Scoping Plan, focused on meeting the state’s climate goals. The draft plan proposes new strategies to reduce emissions from Natural and Working Lands and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. It also increases the focus on Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), hydrogen development and use, energy storage, and other technologies.

Read the Draft 2022 Climate Change Scoping Plan here.

CPUC Adopts Biomethane Procurement Program to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

The CPUC Decision requires utilities to procure 73 billion cubic feet of biomethane annually by 2030.