A Step Forward: Federal, State Legislatures Paying Increased Attention to Biogas
August 1, 2012
Legislators across the country are paying increased attention to biogas. On July 31, the Massachusetts House and Senate adopted legislation that extends the State’s net metering law to cover electricity generated from biogas produced from anaerobic digestion. In California’s House, two committees voted unanimously to support SB 1122, which would create a special procurement program for electricity generated from biogas. And in the U.S. House, Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and John Lewis (D-GA) – both members of the House Ways and Means Committee, where all U.S. tax law originates – introduced the very first investment tax credit (ITC) for biogas production. This landmark legislation (H.R. 6212) proposes to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a 30% ITC for qualifying biogas technologies.
Our thanks to the biogas champions on Capitol Hill!
This legislation still has a ways to go, of course, as it must go through committee (and subcommittee, as necessary) voting and then likely get attached to a larger legislative vehicle for ultimate House passage. Regardless of the ultimate outcome, this legislation has several key components, including its recognition of biogas not just as a fuel to generate renewable electricity but also as renewable substitute for natural gas in vehicles, industry and homes. The bill itself embraces a wide range of biogas technologies, including anaerobic digesters and other biological, chemical, thermal, or mechanical processes which produce biogas with a minimum 52% methane content.
In addition to our gratitude to Reps. Kind and Lewis, we’re proud of the American Biogas Council who invested years of time and hard-fought advocacy in advancing this important legislation.
All this legislative activity helps raise public awareness that biogas deserves recognition as an important renewable contributor to an “all of the above” national energy strategy.
Another step forward!