Today Congressman Peters featured Dr. V. Ramanathan, a San Diego resident and world-renowned climate scientist from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at a congressional briefing on short lived climate pollutants, also known as super pollutants, and the opportunity for communities to manage and reuse landfill gas (LFG).
Held in partnership with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), the briefing also featured Daniel LeFevers of Waste Management and Tom Frankiewicz from the Environmental Protection Agency. The event highlighted San Diego's experience with utilizing LFG at the Miramar Landfill.
"San Diego has been a leader in the capture of landfill gas as a way to generate energy for our communities while also improving environmental quality," Peters said. "At the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in my district, about half of the base's energy needs are met onsite by the public Miramar Landfill. The base is increasingly energy independent and the harvesting technology will deliver a nine percent return on investment over the next fifteen years."
"It is not too late to avoid disastrous climate changes," said Ramanathan. "If we stabilize CO2 concentrations and simultaneously reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP), we can limit the end-of-century warming by 50 percent and reduce the cumulative sea-level rise by about 30 percent. It is encouraging that as SLCPs contribute about half of the warming reduction and about two-thirds of the sea-level rise reduction since we already have technologies to reduce them."
EESI director Carol Werner noted, "In order to avoid the most severe impacts from climate change in the coming decades, we must tackle methane and other SLCPs along with carbon dioxide. The good news is that there are a number of common sense approaches that cut SLCP emissions while also yielding multiple other economic benefits. We all gain by acting now."
Harvesting LFG would immediately reduce dangerous super pollutant emissions, while improving local energy security and national security. LFG comprises 17.7 percent of all US methane emissions, and methane has a global warming potential 72 times that of CO2. Reducing methane emissions would provide significant climate improvements in the near-term.
San Diego, and the state of California at large, has been at the forefront of efforts to reduce the emissions of super pollutants and to promote methods of capturing them to create energy. This technology has the opportunity to strengthen the long-term energy portfolio of local communities across the country. Further, the military may be able to use LFG capture in its increasingly diverse energy portfolio.
Full Video of the briefing can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEXXAfJ30KY&feature=youtu.be&a