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CPUC takes first step to adopt biomethane rules

Posted: February 13, 2013 12:20 p.m.
Updated: February 13, 2013 12:20 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO, February 13, 2013 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today took the first step in adopting standards and requirements for biomethane to be utilized by utilities.

California has long been interested in the responsible use of organic waste to promote environmental and economic goals, including but not limited to clean air, effective waste management, job development, energy independence, and resource diversity.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1900 (Gatto; Stats. 2012, Ch. 602), which became effective Jan. 1, 2013, requires that the CPUC address health and safety issues, including establishing standards for biomethane that is to be injected into a common carrier pipeline; adopting policies and programs to promote the in-state production and distribution of biomethane from a variety of sources; and adopting pipeline access rules that ensure each gas company provides nondiscriminatory open access to its gas pipeline system to any party for the purposes of physically interconnecting with the gas pipeline system and effectuating the delivery of gas. Today’s decision opens a Rulemaking to examine these issues.

“This decision takes a positive step forward to implement Assemblyman Gatto’s bill, AB 1900, which allows greater usage of a variety of biomethane resources to meet Governor Brown’s renewable energy goals,” said Commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval.

Added Commissioner Mark J. Ferron, “I’m an enthusiastic supporter of the use of biomethane gas, which with a little technology can be turned into a low-carbon renewable fuel source. Given California’s large dairy industry and the number of landfill sites that are able to produce biomethane, we have an enormous opportunity to develop this natural resource.”

“Bioenergy is a valuable yet underutilized resource in California,” said Commissioner Carla J. Peterman. “This Rulemaking will directly contribute toward achieving procurement targets for bioenergy by addressing barriers for biomethane to reach the market. Capturing waste emissions from landfills for use as clean energy can stimulate economic growth and help the State meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals.”

The proposal voted on today is available at

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