A policy committee in the California Legislature has advanced a bill that would reduce incentives for dairy digesters through the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program.
More than a dozen environmental justice activists testified in support of the measure during the hearing, while a long list of agriculture and energy groups stood in opposition.
Dairy Cares Executive Director Michael Boccadoro charged that the bill would eliminate the sector’s ability to reduce methane emissions, undermine the state’s climate goals and “wipe out $2 billion of investment”—$700 million of that being state money.
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Senator Ben Allen of Santa Monica claimed the program is not cost effective, despite the Legislative Analyst’s Office determining it is indeed the state’s most effective program for reducing greenhouse gases. Republican Sen. Brian Dahle of Bieber took his colleague to task, arguing Allen is attempting to remove any investment certainty for dairy farmers.
“The information is pretty clear in my mind. Without these digesters, we will not reduce methane,” said Dahle. “The only other option is to leave [California].”