California governor signs bill to aid RNG pipeline integration

By Erin Voegele | September 21, 2018

On Sept. 20, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that aims to facilitate pipeline integration of renewable natural gas (RNG). The bill was supported by the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas.

The legislation, AB 3187, was introduced in February. The bill unanimously passed the Assembly in May and the Senate in August by votes of 70-0 and 39-0, respectively.

According to the RNG Coalition, the AB 3187 requires the California Public Utilities Commission to open a proceeding, no later than July 1, 2019, to consider options to promote the in-state production and distribution of biomethane, including recovery in rates of the cost of interconnection infrastructure investments.  

"With California's organic waste diversion and methane reduction mandates fast approaching, it is critical that we consider policies now to enable the development of renewable natural gas (RNG) facilities in California," said Nina Kapoor, director of state government affairs at the RNG Coalition. "AB 3187 directs the CPUC to consider addressing the single largest cost barrier—interconnection costs—and enables the industry to invest in and construct RNG facilities to lead us to meet our climate change goals. The RNG Coalition looks forward to the opportunity to advocate for increased interconnection incentives before the California Public Utilities Commission next year."

The California legislature also recently passed SB 1440, which authorizes the CPUC, in consultation with the Air Resources Board, to adopt a biomethane procurement program that would benefit ratepayers, is cost-effective, and advances the state’s environmental and energy policies. Brown has yet to take action on SB 1440.