NGO Energy Vision hails NYC new RNG station as giant step forward for climate and health

July 10, 2019. The NGO Energy Vision founder and trustee Joanna Underwood joined NYC Department of Transportation Bronx Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez, Clean Energy Fuels Corp., environmental advocates and truck fleet operators at the opening of Clean Energy’s newest natural gas fueling station in Hunts Point in the Bronx. It’s the first station in New York City to carry renewable natural gas (RNG) exclusively, which will fuel medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. At opening, Underwood made the following statement:

   “This is no ordinary refueling station. It’s a giant step forward for the City and the country in addressing climate change and getting rid of the public health hazards of diesel. It delivers one thing and one thing only: renewable natural gas (RNG) made from organic waste.

   Trucks and buses filling up on RNG fuel will emit virtually none of the nitrogen oxides and other health-threatening pollutants in diesel exhaust. They’re also much quieter than diesels.

   RNG is the lowest-carbon fuel available and a game-changer for the climate. It’s produced by capturing methane biogases emitted as organic wastes break down. Those methane gases are 86 times more potent climate warmers than CO2 (over 20 years). RNG production prevents them from being released into the air, while also displacing high-carbon diesel in bus and truck fleets. That combination often makes RNG “net carbon-negative,” meaning more greenhouse gas emissions are prevented by making and using the fuel than are emitted by trucks or buses burning it. That’s a big net gain for the climate, and will catapult New York towards its emissions reductions goals. It could also help meet the City’s Zero Waste goals by leveraging organic wastes as a valuable energy resource instead of discarding them.

   New Yorkers generate over 1.2 million tons of food waste annually. That could make enough RNG to power the City’s whole fleet of 5000 heavy-duty trucks. If we add the City’s 14 wastewater treatment plants, we could produce enough RNG locally to power every City-owned and private waste hauling trucks on our roads.”