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California to Ease Biomethane Use

February 14, 2013 in Biofuels, Biomethane, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Public Utilities Commission Opens New Rulemaking

The California Public Utilities Commission has initiated a formal regulatory procedure to make it easier for producers of biomethane to transport the renewable fuel via the state’s utility pipeline grid. CPUC is acting in compliance with Assembly Bill 1900, from Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Los Angeles, which became effective on the first of the year.

David Oliver photo via Worldwatch Institute website

David Oliver photo via Worldwatch Institute website

“Given California’s large dairy industry and the number of landfill sites that are able to produce biomethane, we have an enormous opportunity to develop this natural resource,” CPUC commissioner Mark Ferron said in a release.

“This decision takes a positive step forward,” said commissioner Catherine Sandoval, to implement AB 1900 allowing “greater usage of a variety of biomethane resources.”

California Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles

California Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles

The new law, CPUC says, calls upon the agency to “address health and safety issues, including establishing standards for biomethane that is to be injected into a common carrier pipeline,” and to adopt “pipeline access rules that ensure each gas company provides nondiscriminatory open access to its gas pipeline system to any party for the purposes of physically interconnecting with the gas pipeline system and effectuating the delivery of gas.”

Big Landfills, Small Farmers

According to Assemblyman Gatto, AB 1900 allows California producers of biogas, “whether big landfills or small farmers, to sell it to utilities in the state, as long as it is demonstrably clean, pure, and safe.”

The new law, states a website summary, “would also prevent utilities from having to raise rates by expressly allowing them to fulfill their pre-existing contracts to buy biogas.”

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Source: CPUC release with Fleets & Fuels follow-up


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