2018 Legislature Wrap-Up: Program Initiatives Aimed at Supporting Renewable Natural Gas Use

This session the California Legislature took new steps to address barriers to more widespread use and integration of renewable natural gas (RNG) for power generation and low-carbon transportation. Governor Brown signed two bills this week:

AB 3187

AB 3187 adds new language to an existing provision of the Public Utilities Code supporting adoption of California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) programs and policies to promote the in-state production and distribution of pipeline biomethane. The Legislature’s addition specifies that the CPUC must open a proceeding by July 1, 2019 to consider options to further this goal, including consideration of reasonable utility investment in infrastructure to interconnect gas transmission and distribution networks with biomethane generation and collection equipment.

SB 1440

SB 1440 complements AB 3187 by authorizing the CPUC to adopt a biomethane procurement program that benefits ratepayers, is cost-effective, and advances the state’s environmental and energy policies.

The CPUC, in consultation with the California Air Resources Board, will consider adopting specific biomethane procurement targets or goals for each gas company. In considering such targets or goals, the CPUC will be required to consider recommendations of the California Energy Commission for development and use of RNG, consistency with existing organic waste disposal reduction targets, and requirements to ensure that the RNG provider demonstrates environmental benefits.

Our energy practice attorneys can provide more information on California’s expanding RNG markets, program initiatives, and related renewable energy initiatives and compliance rules. For more information contact Jed Gibson or Lynn Haug at 916-447-2166.