New York, NY - May 16, 2019 (Investorideas.com Newswire) The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today issued a request for proposals to purchase ultra-low-carbon renewable natural gas (RNG) to fuel some 800 New York City buses currently running on compressed natural gas (CNG). It represents the first step any heavy duty vehicle fleet in New York City has taken towards adopting RNG. And it's a big one: to run MTA's CNG buses on RNG, MTA must replace the equivalent of 12 to 14 million gallons of CNG a year with RNG.
"This fuel shift will make the MTA a clear national leader in use of the cleanest, lowest-carbon fuel available today," said Matt Tomich, president of the NGO Energy Vision, which researches and advocates clean transportation fuels.
RNG is chemically the same as CNG, but better in other respects. Its production requires no fracking or other types of drilling. It is a renewable fuel made from a renewable resource: organic wastes such as food waste or municipal wastewater. By capturing and refining the methane biogases emitted as organic materials decay, RNG production prevents these gases from escaping into the atmosphere, where they would have a powerful climate-warming impact.
According to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), a leading authority in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels, RNG is the lowest carbon vehicle fuel available today. In fact, when made in anaerobic digesters from food wastes or manures, and used as a transportation fuel, CARB found RNG is net carbon-negative over its lifecycle. That means making and using RNG is a net gain for the climate, resulting in less greenhouse gas in the atmosphere than if it were never made or used in the first place. As a transportation fuel, RNG can reduce emissions up to 300% compared to diesel.
The RNG that MTA plans to purchase will put over 650,000 tons of organic waste to beneficial use: reducing lifecycle carbon emissions of MTA's CNG buses by some 40,000 tons a year, and helping New York State meet its climate goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
The benefit comes at no added cost to the fleet and may save it money, since RNG requires no conversion of buses, engines or fueling infrastructure. RNG MTA purchases will be transported through existing natural gas pipelines. Depending on the price of the winning bid for an RNG purchase agreement, it will either cost the same as conventional CNG, or more likely, less.
By making this change, MTA will become a national leader in sustainable transit. Of the roughly 65,000 transit buses in the US, only a few thousand are currently running on RNG, including in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Orange County, CA, and Dallas, TX.
"The switch from CNG to RNG being made by the MTA is both visionary and practical," says Tomich, "It's a renewable clean fuel solution, but it's affordable and available right now. In the longer term, we hope the experience MTA gains with RNG and its electric bus pilot programs will enable it to build a diesel-free, sustainable fleet that can be a model for others across the country."
"If we're going to meet the global climate goal set in Paris in 2015 - cutting greenhouse gases 80% by 2050 - RNG will have to play an important role." said Joanna Underwood,Energy Vision's founder. "For MTA and any other bus or truck fleet that adopts it, this strategy enables them to meet or exceed the Paris goal not by 2050, but today."
"Kudos to Pat Foye and the MTA for taking action to green its bus fleet by switching to renewable natural gas," said Julie Tighe, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters. "Transportation is number one source of emissions in the state, and decreasing pollution from buses is one of our top priorities. Transitioning to ultra-low-carbon renewable natural gas is a cost-effective solution that can be implemented immediately, support the recycling of organic waste, and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
"This move by MTA and every move toward cleaner fuels by the city's buses and trucks is critical for the health of New Yorkers, especially in neighborhoods that bear the disproportionate burden of high rates of asthma and are on the front line of the climate crisis." said Cecil Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director of the environmental justice group WE ACT.
Energy Vision is a New York-based, national non-profit organization that analyzes and promotes ways to make a swift transition to the clean, petroleum-free transportation fuels of the future. For more information, visit www.energy-vision.org.
Source: Energy Vision www.energy-vision.org
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