Californians Can Now Pay More to Get Natural Gas From Cow Manure


Southern California residents now have the option to pay a little extra to get some of their natural gas from landfills and cow manure.

California state regulators signed off Thursday on a three-year plan by Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric to sell what the utilities call “renewable natural gas” or “biogas” that comes from capturing methane from manure lagoons at dairy farms, landfills and elsewhere.

The utilities, owned by Sempra Energy, say the strategy is a way to reduce the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and help California meet its climate goals. Under their proposal, customers can pay a higher rate to have it blended into the natural gas piped into their homes and businesses.

Environmental groups, however, oppose the idea, saying biogas does little to cut emissions or address the environmental impacts of industrial dairy farms. They say it’s actually an effort by the utilities to distract from the push to phase out natural gas in California.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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