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Port of Seattle will halve carbon emissions with renewable fuel contract

April 17, 2020

The Port of Seattle Commission has approved a contract that will facilitate the port reaching its 2030 goal to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% almost a decade earlier.

It is a long-sought milestone that results from the authorization for a 10-year supply contract with U.S. Gain for renewable natural gas (RNG), a low-carbon natural gas alternative produced most often from landfill waste. RNG produces no new carbon emissions because it replaces fossil fuels and recycles existing carbon.

The $23-million contract allows the port to purchase enough fuel to heat 55% of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) terminal and to power 100% of its bus fleet to reach the 50% port-wide carbon reduction goal. SEA will be the first airport in the United States to utilize RNG for heating. The fuel delivery begins October 1, 2020.

Natural gas accounts for 75% of the port’s annual climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions. The RNG contract will result in the reduction of approximately 11,000 tons of emissions that the port directly produces from its own operations and those from the energy it purchases. This reduction is equivalent to heating 4,000 Seattle homes or taking 2,400 passenger vehicles off the roads each year of the contract.