The fracked gas industry claims that gas from cow manure and rotting garbage is the answer. They call it “biogas” or “renewable gas.” But it’s just greenwashing. It’s not a real solution. There’s not enough of it, it’s expensive, and it relies on unsustainable practices like factory farming and generating large amounts of waste.
But that hasn’t stopped DC’s gas utility, Washington Gas, from going all in on manure gas. They claim this messy mix can get DC to its climate commitments of zero emissions by 2050. But that’s just not true.
The truth is that the American Gas Foundation, which is bankrolled by the gas industry, says that under the most optimistic scenarios, gas from manure and landfills could produce at most 10 percent of the gas we’re using today. In other words, the best case for manure gas is a 90 percent failure for the climate and for our future.
Though manure gas does nothing for the climate, it will be expensive. It costs 10 times more than today’s gas. That’s because the dirty gas from cow manure has to be cleaned and then costly pipelines have to be built to the factory farms that produce the manure. The cost for a single factory farm manure gas site runs as high as $3 million.
The essence of the Washington Gas manure plan is to radically increase costs for DC residents, subsidize factory farming, and accomplish nothing for the climate.