President Biden Receives Letter from OPAL Fuels Co-CEOs Urging Renewable Natural Gas as a “Right Now” Climate Solution
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – (October 21, 2021) – Today, Adam Comora and Jonathan Maurer, the co-CEOs of OPAL Fuels LLC, sent a letter to President Biden urging the Biden Administration to make use of renewable natural gas (RNG) for heavy-duty truck fleets in its efforts to combat the climate crisis. Through burning of diesel fuel, the heavy-duty trucking industry is one of the most significant contributors to harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
OPAL Fuels is a leader in the production and distribution of RNG for the heavy-duty truck market.
Comora and Maurer state that RNG prevents methane – which, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is over 80 times as potent as carbon dioxide in heating the planet – from escaping into the atmosphere. They go on to state that RNG is the “right now” solution to the “right now” problem that is climate change.
Comora and Maurer are available for interviews regarding the letter, the full text of which is below:
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Biden,
As people who spend our careers trying to find practical and economical solutions for combatting climate change, we cannot thank you enough for making the climate crisis an urgent national priority. As this summer has shown us – with its record-breaking heat, aggressive wildfires, rampant flooding, and early hurricanes – climate change is no longer a “future” problem. It is a right-now problem. Halting the worst effects of climate change will require immediate, vigorous action.
We write today to recommend your administration bolster its support of cost-effective, immediately available solutions that fight against climate change, namely encouraging the more rapid adoption of renewable biofuels, also known as Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). With the right regulatory framework and incentives in place, the renewable biofuels industry could rapidly invest in new supply that can dramatically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the heavy-duty trucking, dairy, and landfill industries. Further, that same supply can be used to produce hydrogen as hydrogen fuel technology develops.
RNG is one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources available. By capturing and converting naturally occurring harmful methane emissions – which is over 80 times as potent as carbon dioxide in heating the planet – from dairies and landfills into compressed renewable natural gas for vehicles, individual large-scale RNG projects can prevent 29,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent from escaping into the atmosphere each year. As the UN’s Global Methane Assessment from May 2021 said, cutting methane emissions is “the strongest lever we have to slow climate change over the next 25 years.” Supporting RNG is among the most effective and economical initiatives your administration could take to combat the climate crisis.
Best of all, RNG proves there does not have to be a tradeoff between making the right environmental choice and the right economic choice; RNG costs half of what diesel does per gallon equivalent for heavy-duty fleets and can be transported on existing natural gas infrastructure. For dairies, RNG production takes what has been a major cost, namely manure removal, and turns it into a revenue stream that could be worth millions of dollars over the life of a project, transforming a marginal dairy into a profitable one. This is an economic win for dairies and fleets using the fuel, all while creating significant jobs from the investment and operations of the new facilities. As RNG is a domestic fuel source, it is also a benefit to our national security.
We understand everyone’s desire to ultimately move to ZEV and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology – we support and share those desires. Unfortunately, technology for the trucks, distribution systems (whether they be hydrogen pipelines or our electric grids) and just as importantly clean, renewable electricity generation is not currently available today. Supporting and investing in RNG will not slow that development down, rather it will make sure we have a continuing growing supply of RNG in the future to support either hydrogen production or again be used to generate renewable electricity.
The RNG market’s issue – and where your administration could have an immediate, tangible impact – is continuing to encourage and support new supply to expand the market. There are actions your administration could take to help the industry build more conversion facilities, including:
- Encourage the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish higher renewable volume obligation (RVO) standards for cellulosic biofuels. This will create greater demand for renewables like RNG, making more RNG processing facilities economically feasible and providing a framework to encourage more supply.
- Encourage the creation of a long-term biofuels tax credit. A long-term tax credit, unlike the current year-to-year version of the Alternative Fuels Tax Credit (AFTC), will allow heavy-duty trucking fleets to factor years of RNG-driven savings into their calculations. These calculations will, in-turn, show fleet managers that replacing their diesel fuel trucks with trucks that run on RNG makes economic sense.
- Install Congressional oversight and greater clarity of the Renewable Fuel Standard Program after 2023. Congressional oversight of the program would provide long-term certainty and allow companies to make long-term investments in renewable fuels. Our industry cannot be certain that whoever sits in the Oval Office will be the climate advocate you have proven to be; we can, however, be certain that Congressional mandates have staying power.
- Work with Congress to extend the 30% renewable fuel tax credit, now only available to wind and solar energy projects, to RNG projects. Tax credits of this magnitude would make projects at far smaller dairies and landfills economically viable, thus empowering the capture of far more harmful methane.
- Encourage the EPA to establish new pathways in the Renewable Fuel Standard for cellulosic biofuels to qualify for the program if the biofuels are used to power hydrogen fuel cell or battery powered vehicles. Currently there are no pathways for biofuels to qualify in the program if the RNG is used to produce low carbon intensity hydrogen or renewable electricity and then used to power vehicles.
As it stands, the RNG industry is ready to build 200 facilities a year. With the above incentives and structures in place, your administration would see a dramatic acceleration in the creation of RNG facilities, in turn creating economic growth, jobs, and, most importantly, substantial emissions savings.
Thank you for ensuring that fighting climate change is a national priority. We have come to believe that, while long-term commitments and bold promises are useful, climate change is a “right now” problem. We need to implement “right now” solutions to stem the tide while we wait for all those long-term answers to yield results.
RNG is a “right now” solution. We must move forward as soon as possible. Your leadership will be essential. We thank you and your entire administration once more for its emphasis on mitigating the climate crisis we encourage you to align public policy with your administration’s vision, and we stand eager to do our part.
Adam Comora, OPAL Fuels, Co-CEO
Jon Maurer, OPAL Fuels, Co-CEO
About OPAL Fuels LLC
OPAL Fuels LLC, a Fortistar portfolio company, brings together Fortistar Methane Group, Fortistar RNG, and TruStar Energy to create a vertically integrated renewable fuels platform. The company is an emerging leader in the production and distribution of renewable natural gas (RNG) for the Class 8 truck market. It is a proven low carbon fuel with a track record of results that has the power to rapidly decarbonize the transportation industry now. OPAL Fuels captures harmful methane emissions at the source and recycles the trapped energy into a commercially viable, low-cost alternative to diesel fuel. OPAL Fuels also manages all RNG fueling station development and construction. As a producer and distributor of carbon-reducing fuel for heavy-duty truck fleets for over 15 years, the company delivers best-in-class, complete renewable solutions to customers and production partners. To learn more about OPAL Fuels and how it is leading the effort to capture North America’s harmful methane emissions and decarbonize the transportation industry, please visit www.opalfuels.com and follow the company on LinkedIn and Twitter at @OPALFuels.