The “Rethink Methane: Removing the Fossil from the Fuel” conference in Sacramento hosted leading policymakers and businesses to discuss a key ingredient to a sustainable future: methane. Historically we’ve used “prehistoric” methane created millions of years ago. It is time to shift to “contemporary” or “renewable” methane made in current-day times via the treatment of wastewater, organic waste, and other biological feedstocks.
What we know:
- Methane is a critical energy resource and will continue to be for the foreseeable future
- Methane is also a powerful greenhouse gas, and reducing emissions of methane is central to any strategy to address climate protection
- CA has recognized the importance of reducing methane emissions, and has laid out a strategy to do so in the recently published Proposed Short Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy
- As the vast majority of the state’s methane emissions come from the decay of organic matter, in order to achieve a significant reduction in the contribution of methane to the state’s GHG inventory, these biological sources of methane need to be captured, harnessed and beneficially reused
The challenge that we face is how to, in the face of historically low fossil gas prices, develop a system of policies, programs and incentives that help address the legal and regulatory barriers that impede the development of renewable gas resources and encourage the production and consumption of this valuable energy resource in CA.
This is the purpose of Rethink Methane – to explore the impediments to harnessing renewable gas – the fugitive emissions of which have been identified as a major contributor to climate change – and to identify the actions that CA policymakers can and should take to discourage fugitive emissions, encourage beneficial reuse, encourage the substitution of renewable gas for fossil gas as much as possible, and encourage the substitution of renewable gas for fossil diesel wherever possible.
Highlight of the Day: Harvest CEO Chris Kasper introducing the “Queen of Green” and Chair of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols.