October 17, 2019. At its annual awards reception in Manhattan, the NGO Energy Vision presented government and business leaders with awards for helping expand use of ultra-low carbon renewable natural gas (RNG) in New York and nationally. The awardees include:

  • New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky, Chair of the NYS Senate Environmental Conservation Committee and lead sponsor of the nation’s most ambitious climate bill, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
  • Juan Corcino, Director of Fleet Operations, Manhattan Beer Distributors, America’s largest single-market beer distributor. It operates the largest private fleet of natural gas vehicles in the New York metro region, and is working on fueling them with RNG.
  • Rudi Roeslein, Founder and CEO of Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE), which partnered with Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest hog farmer and pork processor, to make RNG from hog manure in Missouri and North Carolina. By 2021 all Smithfield Farms facilities will produce RNG from their manure. Roeslein is working to leverage RNG production from farm waste to help restore 30 million acres of prairie land.

“New York City and New York State made extraordinary advances in adopting RNG this year,” said Joanna Underwood, founder of Energy Vision. “The MTA is converting 800 of its buses to use of RNG fuel. We celebrated the opening of the first RNG-only refueling station in New York City’s South Bronx. And the New York State Legislature enacted a ground-breaking climate bill.”

“Our climate bill has 80% approval in New York,” Senator Kaminsky said. “Our electricity generation will be carbon-free by 2040, and we are the first state to commit to complete carbon-neutrality by 2050. RNG will play a role in this.”

“By June 2020, 75% of our fleet will be CNG, which will eliminate 1 million gallons of diesel fuel per year,” said Corcino. “Our goal is absolutely 100% of the fleet, and we are looking forward to running it on RNG.”

“Together, Smithfield and RAE have built projects that produce enough RNG to displace tens of millions of gallons of diesel fuel per year,” said Roeslein. “But it’s not only about converting manure to RNG. It’s also about what crops we can grow to stop nutrient runoff and leverage photosynthesis for clean water and air. We are working to restore ecosystem services and wildlife. All this could put $67 billion back into our agricultural economy.”