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California PUC Eases Biomethane Rules

January 21, 2014 in Biofuels, Biomethane, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

‘An In-State Biomethane Industry Is Common Sense,’ Says Key Legislator,
Clean Energy’s ‘Redeem’ Unit Welcomes the New Regulatory Development

The California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to ease the rules that had stymied biomethane development in the state, “ushering in an entirely new clean-energy industry,” according to Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a leading advocate.

The California PUC action means that Clean Energy Renewable Fuels can now begin the process of producing its Redeem brand biomethane inside the state.

The California PUC action means that Clean Energy Renewable Fuels can now begin the process of producing its Redeem brand biomethane inside the state.

The renewable fuel had been effectively banned from the California pipeline system, his office says, “due to outdated laws and a lack of regulations for testing and monitoring.”

It’s good news for Clean Energy Fuels and its Clean Energy Renewable Fuels subsidiary, which last year launched the tradename “Redeem” for its renewable natural gas (F&F, October 7).

California’s Clean Energy Renewable Fuels Can Produce in California

“This means we can produce Redeem from locally sourced biomethane,” says Clean Energy Renewable Fuels president Harrison Clay. All of the firm’s 2013 sales of Redeem were made in California, Clay told F&F, yet all of the product came from out of state.

“Creating an in-state biomethane industry is common sense,” Gatto said in a Tuesday release. “We can produce renewable power in our state, from sources that occur naturally.” Biomethane can be made from sewage, landfill gas, manure and other waste.

Legislation written and endorsed by Gatto paved the way for the CPUC action. A formal, “Phase 2” CPUV rulemaking has yet to take place, his office notes.

“There’s a lot of work to be done,” agrees Clay, who said that the yet-to-be-established testing requirements could pose new challenges, and costs. But the CPUC vote, he says, is “a good step in the right direction. You’ve got to get across the river one rock at a time, and this is the first rock.”

'When I grow up I'll fuel your car.'

‘When I grow up I’ll fuel your car.’

Landfill Gas Ban Lifted

Gatto’s office says that the Assemblyman “spent a year sorting out the bureaucratic barriers of entry and writing new standards for biomethane injection.

“The final bills,” states the Tuesday announcement, “lifted the ban on landfill gas and instead required the PUC to adopt public safety and pipeline safety standards for biomethane, as well as monitoring and reporting standards, which would allow the renewable fuel to be used in California.

“The PUC now embarks on Phase II of their biomethane rulemaking, which will address cost concerns associated with the new biomethane regulations. Meanwhile, utilities around California will be able to begin using biomethane to bring clean, renewable natural gas to their customers.”

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Source: Assemblyman Mike Gatto with Fleets & Fuels follow-up


Posted in Biofuels, Biomethane, Regulations.

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