Mitigating Emissions from California’s Dairies: Considering the Role of Anaerobic Digesters

January 18, 2024
Ruthie Lazenby

The California Air Resources Board’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) seeks to incentivize the production and sale of alternative, lower-emissions transportation fuels to displace conventional fossil fuels. But there are some well-documented questions about the program’s incentives for industrial dairy operations. This report analyzes several commonly raised issues regarding California’s dairy digester policy. The report comes as the California Legislature declined to move on SB 709, a bill introduced last year to reform the role of dairy biogas in the LCFS.  

This policy report analyzes five key issues related to California’s dairy digester policy: the emissions from and prevalence of different manure management practices, CARB’s life cycle analysis for transportation fuels from dairy biogas, dairy industry consolidation, the risk of emissions leakage in response to regulation of dairy methane, and California’s climate targets.

Read the report.

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