Climate Resolve Names SoCalGas’ George Minter Renewable Natural Gas Champion at Annual Celebration of Innovation in the Fight Against Climate Change
Environmental Group Recognizes SoCalGas for Commitment to Affordable & Renewable Energy
Mar 13, 2019
LOS ANGELES – March 13, 2019 – Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced George Minter, the company’s regional vice president of external affairs & environmental policy, was named “Renewable Natural Gas Champion” by Climate Resolve, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that focuses on local solutions to global climate change, Climate Resolve lauded Minter’s efforts to increase the use of renewable natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that benefits all people, including low income families. Minter was honored at Climate Resolve’s annual Coolest in LA Gala – a celebration of innovation in Southern California’s Fight Against Climate Change.
“I am honored to accept this award from Climate Resolve,” said Minter. “To truly achieve carbon-neutrality, California must capture the methane emissions from waste sources. A path to carbon neutrality that includes renewable natural gas will also be two to three times more cost effective than an all-electric solution. This is something I wholeheartedly believe in and I will continue to try to educate the public, my peers and those in government about this concept so that together, all of us in California can reach our climate goals.”
“George was an early adopter of the renewable natural gas vision. He realized before many, how important RNG is in our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Sharon Tomkins, vice president customer solutions & strategy. “George has largely helped to shape our company vision on RNG and has been instrumental in educating so many on the use of renewable natural gas and its importance to California’s efforts to reduce climate impacts.”
Last week, SoCalGas announced a bold plan to replace 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. The announcement is part of SoCalGas' vision to be the cleanest natural gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. To kickstart the plan, SoCalGas will pursue regulatory authority to implement a broad renewable natural gas procurement program with a goal of replacing five percent of its natural gas supply with RNG by 2022.
Renewable natural gas is a clean fuel produced from our waste streams (i.e., sewers and food waste, as well as dairy and agriculture waste) and can be used like traditional natural gas to heat homes and businesses, for cooking, and to fuel trucks and buses. RNG reduces GHG emissions because it can take more GHG emissions out of the air than it emits as an energy source. In 2016, Governor Brown signed legislation to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, including methane from organic sources. The law requires 40 percent of methane from sewage treatment plants, landfills and agriculture to be captured, with provisions to deliver that energy to customers.
SoCalGas has been working to accelerate the further development of RNG projects in California. In 2018, renewable natural gas produced in the state began flowing into SoCalGas pipelines for the first time, from an anaerobic digester built and operated by waste hauling company CR&R. CR&R's facility produces renewable natural gas using organic waste collected in Southern California cities' green waste bins and already fuels 400 of their collection trucks.
In January 2019, Calgren, a biofuel producer, began flowing renewable natural gas into the SoCalGas system from a dairy digester pipeline cluster. The facility will eventually collect biogas from anaerobic digesters at 12 Tulare County dairies, preventing about 130,000 tons of greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere each year, the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 passenger cars off the road for a year.
Today, there are some 24 California dairy methane capture projects either operating or in development, and experts estimate there could be as many as 120 projects funded and operating in the next five years. In addition, as the state seeks to divert organic waste from landfills and capture emissions from wastewater treatment plants, more locally produced renewable natural gas will become available.
A 2016 study by the University of California, Davis calculated that California has the potential to produce nearly 100 billion cubic feet (bcf) per year of renewable natural gas. This would be enough to meet the annual natural gas needs of around 2.3 million California homes. In addition, out-of-state sources of RNG are significant and growing. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. currently produces 1 trillion cubic feet of renewable natural gas every year, and that number is expected to increase to 10 trillion by 2030.
Last year, a separate study showed that replacing less than 20 percent of California’s traditional natural gas supply by 2030 would achieve the same emissions reductions as electrifying the entire building sector and is two to three times more cost effective than any all-electric scenario.
Consumer polls support the increased production and use of renewable natural gas. Today approximately 90 percent of homes in Southern California use gas for heating and/or cooking. Those households prefer natural gas for home heating and cooking by a margin of 4 to 1 because it Is more affordable. In addition, a recent California Building Industry Association survey of California voters found that only 10 percent of voters would consider purchasing an all-electric home and 80 percent oppose laws that would take away their natural gas appliances.
For more information on RNG's visit https://www.socalgas.com/smart-energy/renewable-gas.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable natural gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Natural gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians— about 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas’ vision is to be the cleanest natural gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that vision, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its natural gas system infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2014 through 2018, the company invested nearly $6.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its natural gas system to enhance safety and reliability. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
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