Dairy manure, a major source of the potent greenhouse gas methane, can be managed in such a way that its impact on the environment is greatly reduced. While some projects simply minimize the emission of "biomethane," others actually harness the gas and either combust it for electricity generation or refine and inject it into a natural gas pipeline.

Dairies in and around Kern County host a variety of such projects. On Tuesday, Chevron said it has pledged money to help develop up to 18 biomethane projects and that it will help market the resulting gas.

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