Can cow manure in New York fuel California’s climate goals? It’s complicated.

Developers of anaerobic digester technology are traveling to upstate New York, where they’re trying to convince dairy farms to turn cow manure into an energy source for California, reports Politico. How? By trapping the methane released from pools of waste, converting it into natural gas, and then injecting it into an interstate pipeline. Capturing methane that otherwise would have drifted into the atmosphere can prevent the release of a potent greenhouse gas with 25 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide. But not everyone is convinced about the tech’s green credentials. For one thing, environmental advocates have argued that only the biggest dairy farms stand to benefit from large-scale digester technology. For another, transporting natural gas requires a lot of energy—and that footprint only gets bigger the farther that fuel has to travel. —Jessica Fu

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