The wider deployment of trucks running on renewable natural gas —a proven technology in use worldwide—is key to transforming California’s transportation sector through reduced greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and petroleum dependence.
RNG has the lowest carbon intensity (CI) values of all fuels rated for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Nearly 90 percent of all natural gas in the LCFS program is RNG. It can make meaningful decarbonization contributions to the extent that it results in a net reduction in methane emissions and displaces fossil fuel use in otherwise hard-to-abate sectors like heavy-duty trucks. Both California and the United States recognizes the lower carbon benefits of renewable natural gas, deeming it an advanced biofuel for transportation purposes
Producing RNG can significantly reduce agricultural methane that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. RNG projects capture and recover methane produced at landfills or anaerobic digestion facilities. The impact of uncaptured methane is 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Therefore, reducing these emissions can achieve near-term beneficial impacts in mitigating global climate change.
We can put proven technologies to use right now to convert California’s vast waste feedstocks—from dairies, wastewater treatment plants, municipal solid waste plants, agriculture and landfills—to clean-burning RNG.
The number of California natural gas stations keeps growing with more than 600 at last count—and and more than one-quarter providing public access. Natural gas vehicle options include a full range of heavy-duty trucks, transit buses, refuse trucks, school buses, shuttle vans, delivery vehicles, pickup trucks and passenger cars. All provide performance comparable to diesel and gasoline vehicles.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the development of RNG projects can benefit the local economy through the construction of RNG processing and fueling station infrastructure and the sale of vehicles. National, state and local incentives may also be available depending on the end use, such as credits for production of RNG used for vehicle fuel. These financial incentives can provide additional economic drivers for project development.
Trucks powered by RNG are among the cleanest commercially available vehicles. They provide immediate solutions to California’s air pollution and global warming problems, delivering lower greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions than petroleum-fueled vehicles. Waste Management estimates that California’s current recoverable RNG resources could displace more than 900 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. That’s about 25 percent of the diesel fuel used for transportation in California each year.
The use of RNG can provide benefits in terms of fuel security, economic revenues or savings, local air quality and greenhouse gas emission reduction. Get the Facts about the benefits of RNG.