On Thursday, March 22, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a bill that will encourage the increased production of renewable natural gas (RNG) as an energy source for Washington State. HB 2580 passed the Legislature just hours before the end of legislative session on March 8th. Nearly unanimous legislative backing for the bill signals strong interest in and support for further development and adoption of this renewable energy resource.
“As we transition to a clean-energy future, this [bill] will help us promote production of renewable natural gas from landfills, wastewater treatment plants, food processing, and agriculture, while also helping create jobs and promote rural economic development across our state,” said Governor Inslee as he signed the bill.
“What could be better than turning waste into useful energy?” asked Dan Kirschner, Executive Director of the NWGA. “It reminds me of the Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor in the movie Back to the Future.”
The effective date for the new law is July 1, 2018. It encourages the expansion RNG production through the use of tax incentives and a suite of other tools including an inventory of potential RNG supply and associated costs; voluntary gas quality standards for injecting RNG into the natural gas system, and additional policy recommendations to promote RNG development.
“By supporting renewable natural gas project development, Washington’s leaders are supporting the creation of clean energy sector jobs, improved air quality and public health,” said Johannes Escudero, CEO of the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition). “Methane mitigation, carbon sequestration and decarbonization of our existing natural gas infrastructure occur with each new RNG project.”
Bill Edmonds, Director of Environmental Management and Sustainability at NW Natural said, “ This bill is an important step to better understanding the potential for RNG in the region. While we still need to address some of the barriers to greater RNG natural gas deployment, the tax incentives are a solid step in the right direction.”
“The Northwest Gas Association (NWGA) thanks, Governor Inslee for seeking this important measure, and Rep. Jeff Morris for being its champion through the legislative process,” said Kirschner.