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Member guest blog – American Biogas Council

US Elections watch – The Democratic Party and Biogas

With just two weeks to go until the US presidential election, many Americans are focused on little else. For the American Biogas Council, we’re most interested in how each candidate will impact the biogas industry.

We already know a lot about how the current Trump Administration will impact the industry—very little has been helpful—so we’ve been trying to work with the Biden campaign to see how a Joe Biden/Kamala Harris Administration might be different. Except for an exceptional moment in a CNN-hosted town hall event, where Biden talked about anaerobic digesters and their role in managing nutrients, Biden’s clean energy and rural America plans are the best published resource so far.

Here are some highlights from:

Building Modern Infrastructure
Biden’s plans have said his Administration will transform the energy sources that power the transportation sector, making it easier for mobility to be powered by electricity and clean fuels. To us, this means that low carbon intensity fuels like RNG or renewable electricity made from RNG are likely to be included in any plans under this banner.

Positioning the U.S. Auto Industry to Win
Biden has not been shy about his support for electric vehicles. Further penetration of electric vehicles into the transportation market should help drive the use of renewable electricity made from biogas, especially if EPA activates the biogas-electric vehicle pathway in the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard.

Achieving a Carbon Pollution-Free Power Sector by 2035
Biden’s plans include “marshalling an historic investment in energy efficiency, clean energy, electrical systems…” plus “reforming and extending the tax incentives that generate energy efficiency and clean energy jobs; developing innovative financing mechanisms that leverage private sector dollars to maximize investment in the clean energy revolution; and establishing a technology-neutral Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard (EECES) for utilities and grid operators.”

This will create several opportunities to push the tax-related policy changes for which the American Biogas Council has been strongly advocating, in addition to new R&D spending that can help to advance the industry. In fact Biden has made commitments to increase federal procurement by $400 billion in his first term to purchase the key clean energy inputs like batteries and electric vehicles.”

Advancing Sustainable Agriculture and Conservation
Biden’s plans say he will “bring back America’s advantage in agriculture, create jobs, and build a bright future for rural communities by investing in the next generation of agriculture and conservation.” While this is welcome to the biogas industry, even more welcome is his pledge to “help farmers leverage new technologies, techniques, and equipment to increase productivity and profit – including…establishing a new voluntary carbon farming market that rewards farmers for the carbon they sequester on their land and the greenhouse gas emission reductions, including from methane…” Needless to say, we can interpret a lot of support for the biogas industry and our friends in agriculture.

Plan for Rural America
Similar to the Clean Energy Plan, Biden’s Rural America plan includes several points that point to support of the biogas industry, namely:

  •  “…making American agriculture first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions, giving farmers new sources of income in the process.”
  • “Expanding bio-based manufacturing.”
  • “Promoting ethanol and the next generation of biofuels.”

While Biden’s plans lack concrete mentions of the biogas industry and lean heavily towards electric vehicles and agriculture, overall the proposals give the biogas industry a good sense of what he will promote should he prevail in November. Of course, this will only be a starting point for our advocacy and Congress will need to act on many of these proposals in any case.

Stay tuned and consider joining the American Biogas Council to get more access to biogas-related policy.

About the American Biogas Council
The American Biogas Council is the only national trade association representing the entire biogas industry in the U.S. We represent over 200 companies in all parts of the biogas supply chain who are dedicated to maximizing the production and use of biogas from organic waste. Biogas systems protect our air, water and soil by recycling organic material, like food waste and manure, into renewable energy and soil products.

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