Supported by The Climate Center

SB 781 (Stern) Methane emissions

Existing law, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, designates the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as the state agency responsible for monitoring and regulating sources of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming in order to reduce emissions. The law requires all state agencies to consider and implement strategies to reduce their emissions.

This bill would additionally require state agencies to prioritize strategies to reduce methane emissions, including emissions from imported natural gas, where feasible and cost-effective. The bill would require CARB to establish a certification standard for natural gas producing low methane emissions by 2025. The bill would require CARB to encourage natural gas procurement on behalf of the state to shift to certified as producing low methane emissions. The bill would also require CARB, the Public Utilities Commission, and other relevant agencies to consider programs, or changes to existing programs, to reduce methane emissions, including emissions from imported natural gas procured by utilities and other large gas users.

Existing law also requires CARB to inventory sources of air pollution within the air basins of the state and determine the kinds and quantity of air pollutants.

This bill would require CARB to annually request and incorporate information from utilities and other large gas users regarding any contract for and use of natural gas certified to have at least 80 percent lower methane emissions than average across the natural gas supply chain, as data are available, or the use of other best practices to minimize emissions of methane and greenhouse gases from natural gas supplying California.

Full bill text and related information.

Bill Author