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Hogs and Biogas Don’t Help the Climate

Evidence is coming in: The idea of hog waste biogas as an energy source is falling woefully short. Biogas is burnable fuel like natural gas consisting mostly of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

The 2007 North Carolina state law requiring utilities to get a percentage of their power from renewable energy is known as REPS — the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard. One of the compromises contained in that law requires biogas from poultry and swine waste be counted in that total. 

Now, however, a report from the state Utilities Commission finds these waste-to-energy projects have failed to meet their energy targets.

In addition, persistent objections to the air and water pollution still coming from these poultry and hog production facilities combine with their clear disproportionate impacts on poor, rural, minority communities to generate objections. Calls are again growing to ditch the hog waste biogas boondoggle.

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