Completing a two-year process implementing Senate Bill 1440 (Hueso, 2018), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has issued a new Proposed Decision setting biomethane procurement targets to reduce short-lived climate pollutant (SLCP) emissions. The Proposed Decision builds on policy recommendations in a Staff Proposal recommending approval of a mandatory biomethane procurement program for California’s four large investor-owned gas utilities – Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), and Southwest Gas Corporation (SWG).
The Proposed Decision establishes a structure for approving long-term contracts for pipeline-directed renewable natural gas. The procurement requirements focus on renewable natural gas derived from organic waste diversion. Under a separate law, SB 1383 (Lara, 2017), CalRecycle has established mandatory organic waste diversion requirements. The procurement under SB 1383 will create a new market for RNG from organic waste diversion and would be expanded to other RNG-sources in the longer term. Dairy biogas is not included in the procurement authorizations.
Key recommendations in the Proposed Decision include:
The Proposed Decision will not be final until adopted by the CPUC. Comments on the Proposed Decision are due January 24, 2022. Reply comments are due January 31, 2022. The CPUC is expected to vote on the Proposed Decision at its February 10, 2022 meeting.