Carbon Capture Coalition Endorses Bipartisan Carbon Capture Legislation Introduced in the U.S. Senate Today
February 7, 2019 | News
Washington, D.C. – Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) and a bipartisan group of Senators today introduced the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act, legislation to boost carbon capture development and deployment nationwide. Cosponsors of the bill include EPW Committee members Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Tom Carper (D-DE) along with Mike Enzi (R-WY), Tina Smith (D-MN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV). This year’s bill closely matches legislation introduced by Senators Barrasso and Whitehouse last year that passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously. Companion bipartisan legislation is expected to be introduced in the U.S. House this month.
“The Carbon Capture Coalition is pleased to endorse the USE IT Act and thanks Senators Barrasso, Whitehouse and all of the sponsors for continuing their bipartisan leadership on carbon capture,” declared Brad Crabtree, co-director of the Carbon Capture Coalition and Great Plains Institute Vice President for Carbon Management. “Last year’s passage of landmark legislation to reform the Section 45Q tax credit showed that support for carbon capture spans the political spectrum. Early action by the new Congress to pass the USE IT Act will build on that bipartisan effort to reduce carbon emissions, strengthen American energy independence, and protect and create high-wage jobs.”
The USE IT Act would establish initial federal efforts to help advance carbon utilization and direct air capture technologies. It would also support collaboration between federal, state, tribal and non-governmental interests to facilitate the planning and construction of pipeline systems to transport CO2 captured from industrial facilities and power plants for ultimate storage or use.
“While carbon capture is playing an important role in many states’ environmental and economic development planning, Congress can and should continue to consider policies that can make viable carbon capture projects of all types and sizes,” said Jeff Bobeck, co-director of the Carbon Capture Coalition and Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Director of Energy Policy Engagement. “The USE IT Act is aimed at accelerating both the development of breakthrough technologies like Direct Air Capture and the deployment of CO2 infrastructure that could foster a boom in new projects. Senators Barrasso and Whitehouse are true leaders in building the consensus for effective climate policies like the USE IT Act that can and should be enacted with bipartisan support this year.”
The USE IT Act would provide much needed funding for carbon capture and utilization technology development, including $50 million in federal funding for research and development of new uses of captured carbon that reduce emissions, such as producing low-carbon fuels, chemicals, materials and products, as well as a $25 million prize program for early stage research and demonstration of direct air capture technologies that remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere. Currently, only minimal federal funding exists to support emerging direct air capture and utilization technologies.
The Carbon Capture Coalition has supported the USE IT Act since introduction in 2018 and hosted invitation-only media breakfast briefings on the bill with Senator Barrasso in June 2018 and with Senator Whitehouse in September 2018. Introduction of the USE IT Act again this year comes just days after the one year anniversary of passage of the FUTURE Act, legislation to reform Section 45Q of the U.S. Tax Code to boost carbon capture deployment.
CARBON CAPTURE COALITION PARTICIPANT QUOTES IN SUPPORT OF THE USE IT ACT
“BPC Action commends Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) for introducing the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act. This bill is needed to build on recently enacted investments in carbon capture to continue important innovation in this space, reduce emissions and maintain America’s energy leadership. Carbon utilization and direct air capture are at the forefront of American innovation and critical to not only addressing carbon pollution, but also expanding opportunities for American businesses in emerging technology sectors. Importantly, the USE IT Act supports the buildout of enabling carbon dioxide pipeline infrastructure critical to deploying these technologies to a point where American businesses can seize the economic opportunities afforded by them. As the global appetite for clean technologies grows, the United States has an opportunity to reassert its competitive edge by pioneering the technologies of tomorrow, and the USE IT Act helps us get there.” – Michele Stockwell, Executive Director, BPC Action
“The USE IT Act represents the first ever serious federal investment in carbon removal. Today, there are already a number of direct air capture and carbontech entrepreneurs working to transform waste carbon into a valuable resource, and federal support will be critical to spurring on these new industries, unlocking a trillion dollar market opportunity, and ultimately building an economy that removes more carbon than we emit.” – Noah Deich, Executive Director, Carbon180
“Over and over, experts conclude that carbon capture and storage is essential for both rapid climate mitigation and economic growth. The USE IT Act provides some welcome support to CCS deployment in the US, including support for pipeline permitting and an expansive innovation agenda on carbon management. If the US wants to maintain its leadership and commercial edge, the USE IT act is cornerstone legislation.” – Julio Friedmann, CEO, Carbon Wrangler
“We need both carbon capture on smokestacks and carbon removal from the atmosphere if we are going to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Adoption by Congress of the USE IT Act would encourage early stage innovation for carbon removal and help develop needed infrastructure for both technologies. We urge its enactment as soon as possible.” – Armond Cohen, Executive Director, Clean Air Task Force
“The bipartisan USE IT Act is a common-sense approach to supporting carbon capture technologies, including necessary pipelines and other infrastructure, enhanced public-private partnerships, innovative R&D and permitting improvements. It is a strong and necessary step in enabling market-driven carbon capture and realizing its benefits for American consumers.” – ClearPath Action Executive Director Rich Powell
“Building upon the bipartisan reform of 45Q, the USE IT Act will foster continued development and deployment of carbon capture by furthering research for carbon utilization and direct air capture technologies and facilitate planning and deployment of pipelines to transport CO₂ for ultimate storage or beneficial use. The bipartisan sponsorship of the bill demonstrates that promotion of innovative technology to reduce GHG emissions while creating new business opportunities is an approach with far reaching support.” – Vicki Hollub, President and CEO, Occidental Petroleum Corporation
“We applaud the bipartisan leadership of Senators Barrasso and Whitehouse for their introduction of S. [bill #], the USE IT Act. As a science-based organization whose mission it is to protect the land and waters on which all life depends, The Nature Conservancy is committed to finding solutions to some of nature’s greatest challenges, including climate change. The technologies supported by this bill — carbon utilization and direct air capture – can play an important role in reducing carbon emissions and can be part of the comprehensive array of approaches needed to address climate change. The USE IT Act invests in research and development that will help expedite the commercial deployment of these critical technologies. We hope other members of the Senate will support this common-sense, bipartisan legislation.” – Jason Albritton, Director of US Climate and Energy Policy, The Nature Conservancy
“Avoiding the worst impacts of climate change will require us to get to zero emissions by 2050—something that leading climate authorities say is unlikely without carbon capture. The USE IT Act is a smart way to encourage innovative capture methods, profitable uses for captured carbon, and new infrastructure that will help scale-up this important climate solution.” – Josh Freed, Senior Vice President for Clean Energy, Third Way
“The USE IT Act is another step forward in advancing technology-based solutions to environmental challenges in a manner designed to maximize the economic potential of our energy and manufacturing sectors. In seeking new ways to power our nation and energize our industrial base, this bill recognizes the value of retaining and creating high-quality, family supporting jobs, and their importance to the working families and communities that depend on them for their way of life.” – Mike Langford, National President, Utility Workers Union of America