Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressman Garamendi Praises Solano County’s Recology Dixon for Technological Innovation to Combat Effects of Climate Change

November 13, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman John Garamendi of California’s 3rd district spoke on the House floor yesterday to highlight innovative technological developments and research in California that combat the effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also strengthening the economy.  The Safe Climate Caucus is a group of Democratic members who highlight the need for action on climate change through daily floor speeches and other activities. To read about Garamendi’s tour of Recology and other events this past week, click here.

Click here to watch Congressman Garamendi’s Safe Climate Caucus speech and see below for a full transcript:

I want to give one example of the way in which research actually works out together with regulations:  regulations to protect our air, regulations to protect out water, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other regulations, some of them now dealing with the issue of climate change.

I’m a member of the Clean Climate Caucus, I want to just share with you, it’s actually the Safe Climate Caucus, and there are many of us that belong to this Caucus. And we’re trying to say we’ve got global warming.  And whether the tragic typhoon in the Philippines was directly caused by global warming, I think it’s no accident that we’re seeing stronger and stronger storms just as predicted.

So anyway, our Safe Climate Caucus is concerned that many here in Congress are trying to shut down common sense Environmental Protection Agency guidelines that are designed to keep our air and our water clean and healthy, and to reduce the disastrous consequences of climate change.

These regulations can actually drive technological development and they can strengthen our economy.  When those policies are paired with the entrepreneurship, the inventiveness of the individuals and businesses out there, some really interesting things happen, and jobs are created. 

Last week I visited one such program in California; it’s a program put together by Recology, which is a company that operates in my district and in San Francisco.  They are a recycling, composting, and a landfill, we say garbage here, company, and they have a landfill.  They are involved in some very interesting, innovative ways to separate the waste, to recycle, all to the good. 

But they have another project.  They have teamed up with a company called G2 Energy, and it has put in place a facility to take the methane gas that comes off the landfill, that at one point just went up in the atmosphere – and do keep in mind that methane gas is around 20 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide – they put in a project to capture that methane gas, take it out of the landfill, put it in a pipe with a vacuum, run it over to a Caterpillar engine, manufactured in America – actually it’s a big marine engine that probably was driving some very large ship – but it now is sitting there next to the landfill, attached to a generator, and producing an extraordinary amount of electricity.

Now that’s innovation, and that’s the kind of thing that can be done.  That methane coming off the landfill into the Caterpillar engine into the generator will replace more than a million gallons of diesel fuel that was once used to run that very same kind of an engine. 

That is the kind of innovation that can occur when coupled with research and wise public policy.