Report Urges Feds to Get Behind the Renewable Fuel
New York City-based Energy Vision is circulating a new report urging broader use of renewable natural gas in the U.S., citing clean air, climate change, energy, national security, economic and job creation advantages. Regulatory and tax incentives can help make the clean fuel market-viable, the organization says in the joint report issued with Calstart.
“Today we can turn this country’s expensive organic waste burden into a clean vehicle fuel solution,” Energy Vision president Joanna Underwood says in a summary of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG): The Solution to a Major Transportation Challenge.
“Fossil-based and renewable natural gas used as vehicle fuels are the only options for displacing significant amounts of oil,” Underwood said.
“By aggressively embracing this strategy as part of an overall energy plan, the new Obama Administration and the 113th Congress can achieve measurable progress in moving toward this country’s key clean air, climate change, energy, national security, economic and job creation goals. For many reasons, RNG is just what the doctor ordered.”
The key problem is that biomethane, because of processing expenses, is generally more expensive than currently plentiful fossil gas.
‘Our Country Needs to Take a Lead’
“Clearly the rock bottom price of fossil-based natural gas is making it very difficult for renewable natural gas to get a strong foothold in the vehicle fuel market,” Underwood told F&F. “Federal and state policymakers ought to look hard at creating incentives” for RNG, she said.
“Stimulus funding and economic incentives in this area in the short term can create green jobs and bring home millions of dollars now being spent to buy foreign oil,” Underwood adds. “In the longer term, it can help tackle the expensive threat of climate change.
“Billions of dollars will be spent trying to address the damage (most recently) to New York and New Jersey coastal communities in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. And with the increasingly clear link between these violent weather patterns and the generation of greenhouse gases, our country needs to take a lead in preventive action.”
Taxes and Regulations Could Be Adjusted
The report notes that the U.S. tax code currently provides an incentive for producing biogas for power generation, but not for vehicle fuel. And, “a lack of uniform federal or state specifications for gas acceptance and the absence of a national quality standard for RNG injected into the pipeline system requires RNG project developers to negotiate acceptance with each gas utility, adding considerable time and cost.”
“We will pay much much more in the longer run if we do not act,” Underwood says. “Renewable natural gas is by far the leading fuel option that has immediate broad commercial potential and has a close to zero carbon footprint. It is a great economic as well as environmental opportunity just waiting to happen.”
The 16-page Energy Vision-Calstart Renewable Natural Gas report includes case studies on eight U.S. RNG projects, including key contact information for all of them.
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Source: Energy Vision release with Fleets & Fuels follow-up