RNG Coalition urges Michigan Senate to hold clean fuel standard hearing

February 10, 2024. The Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) urges Michigan lawmakers to conduct a hearing on Senate Bill 275 (SB 275) as an important step toward realizing Michigan’s long-term climate goals.

SB 275, a critical Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) legislation, would address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Michigan’s transportation sector, a significant contributor to the state’s carbon footprint. The proven success of CFS programs in U.S. states like California, where consumption of petroleum-based diesel has plummeted by over 50% within just a few years, underscores the need for a similar program in Michigan.

RNG Coalition Legislative Policy Manager Dana Adams outlined the need for an SB 275 hearing in a letter sent to Michigan Senate Energy Committee Chairman Sean McCann:

“While last year’s Clean Energy Package addresses long-term emissions, it does not go far enough to address near- and medium-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” Adams said in the letter. “The transportation sector is one of the largest GHG contributors in Michigan and addressing this emissions source is imperative if we hope to make meaningful near-term GHG reductions.”

A CFS would uniquely benefit Michigan, one of North America’s most vital agricultural regions. CFS policy as proposed by SB 275 will drive investment in Michigan farmers and rural communities by creating a local market for ethanol, biodiesel, and renewable natural gas (all of which can be produced from Michigan farms and waste sites). These fuels will simultaneously reduce transportation emissions and allow Michigan rural communities to sustainably participate in the energy transition.

By enacting a CFS, Michigan would join the vanguard of North American clean transportation leaders. Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico and Hawaii are among states actively considering implementing their own version of a CFS in early 2024, likely due to the emissions reductions achieved through similar programs established in California, Oregon, Washington state and Canada in recent years.

More states are likely to follow, as policymakers interested in defossilizing our society recognize that bio-based fuels can support our transition to lower- and zero-emissions modes of transportation, including electric options. There has never been a more promising time for Michigan to take part in this clean fuel transition. 

RNG Coalition calls on Michigan’s Senate to heed this call for common-sense energy policy. Michigan has already moved boldly to declare itself as a climate leader with its long-term emissions reduction goals; now is the time to continue that leadership by convening a hearing that allows lawmakers to move forward on SB 275.