The use of near-zero emission transportation, including renewable natural gas (RNG), received a boost when the boards of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Ports released a joint draft Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) to drive down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation operations through the ports. Among zero and near-zero emission alternatives, the ports are embracing RNG, which a Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) spokesperson indicated could lead to immediate improvements in air quality and public health. The plan calls for equipping thousands of heavy duty trucks working in the ports daily with the latest natural gas technology, which has been supported by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and a sustainable freight initiative pushed by the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Deploying heavy-duty trucks fueled with RNG can lower GHG emissions from trucks serving the ports by 80% and can reduce air pollution by 90%, the spokesman said.

A group of 36 Republican senators, including Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, voiced support for the Department of Interior’s (DOI) proposed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Five-Year Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024. The program,announced by DOI in June, would open more of the OCS to oil and gas drilling. “Pursuing a new five-year program will provide a meaningful review to guarantee that the offshore leasing program contributes to U.S. energy dominance and to ensure some of the most prolific regions of the United States have not been arbitrarily excluded from competitive leasing,” the senators said in a letter to DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke. “We encourage you to carefully review those areas that were not included in the 2017-2022 Five-Year Program to ensure that opportunities are not missed.”