Carbon Capture Coalition to Congress: Targeted Measures to Provide Immediate Support to At-Risk Carbon Capture Projects and Contribute to Broader Economic Recovery

April 30, 2020 | Legislation

The Carbon Capture Coalition today sent a letter to Congressional leaders and committees of jurisdiction outlining their request for targeted measures aimed at providing immediate support for current carbon capture projects at risk of delay or cancellation due to the COVID-19 crisis and to increase the number of projects in the near-term development pipeline.

The recommendations were drawn from a broader federal policy blueprint agreed to by all Coalition participants last year and prioritized in the COVID-19 context to spur economic activity and protect and create high-wage jobs.

The recommendations seek to provide financial certainty to investors, leverage private capital, and ensure access to existing incentives, and they are guided by three criteria aimed at ensuring a timely and effective federal response to economic needs. Proposed measures should: 1) rely on existing legislative authorities, wherever possible; 2) avoid or minimize the need for further rulemaking or guidance procedures; and 3) have the potential for broad bipartisan support.

Click here to read the Coalition’s letter to Congress.
Click here to read a detailed summary of the Coalition’s recommendations.

Below are several quotes of support from Coalition members:

“Carbon capture from flue stacks and carbon removal from the atmosphere are critical to energy sector competitiveness and to tackling climate change. The sector has built up encouraging momentum over the past few years, and initial work on many commercial-scale projects has begun, but progress is now threatened with recent economic turmoil. The Carbon Capture Coalition has recommended an excellent set of policy measures that Congress can act on to preserve momentum and help the carbon capture sector create both jobs and emissions reductions.”

– Steve Oldham, CEO, Carbon Engineering

“Current carbon capture utilization and storage projects play a significant role in decarbonization efforts – both domestically and globally. Unfortunately, these projects have been stalled due to the lack of liquidity in the tax equity markets. CRES supports the Carbon Capture Coalition’s request for direct pay as it will provide carbon capture project developers the option to receive a direct payment to monetize the federal 45Q tax credit. We also support federal funding of the Department of Energy’s CarbonSAFE program which will allow ten large-scale geologic storage projects – from power, industrial and direct air capture – to be completed. These projects will lead to the development of sites capable of storing more than 50 million tons of carbon dioxide, thereby improving the environment while creating high-paying jobs.”

– Heather Reams, Executive Director, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions

“As Congress considers opportunities to revitalize our economy during these unprecedented global challenges, we must continue efforts to decrease our carbon footprint while providing for global energy needs. Now is not the time to lose sight of the opportunity that technology and emerging business models present for our lower carbon future. For the U.S. to lead on this important issue, it is vital that we continue to incentivize carbon capture utilization and storage, and support the skilled workforce the technology needs.”

– Vicki Hollub, President and CEO, Occidental 

“As we look beyond this pandemic toward rebuilding our economy, we must support existing jobs and create new opportunities. Now more than ever we must follow sustainable pathways with high-road, family-supporting jobs in essential industries, including in the energy sector. Low-carbon solutions, including scaling up carbon capture systems, is one such example. I urge lawmakers to create the certainty necessary to drive investment, as demonstrated in the thoughtful recommendations put forward by the Carbon Capture Coalition.”

– James Slevin, President, Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO

“Ensuring the continued viability of current carbon capture projects at risk of delay or cancellation due to the COVID-19 crisis is an important piece of our economic recovery. Fostering the high-wage jobs potential and emissions reductions from carbon capture projects that are primed and ready to go is a no brainer. This kind of technological innovation and leadership is a perfect complement to the natural climate solutions outlined in a recently released National Wildlife Federation policy platform. We look forward to working with lawmakers to enact solutions that support economic, community, and climate resilience, alike.”

– Shannon Heyck-Williams, Director of Climate and Energy Policy, National Wildlife Federation

“Congress has a fleeting chance to save jobs in struggling areas of the economy, spur private investment in an emerging industry, and unlock one of the most powerful tools for cutting climate pollution. Investing in carbon capture’s success will pay dividends immediately and for decades to come. If the U.S. helps carbon capture get through this crisis, carbon capture will help the nation come out stronger on the other side.”

– Josh Freed, Senior Vice President for Climate and Energy, Third Way

“We support the recommendations put forward by the Carbon Capture Coalition, particularly with respect to enhancing 45Q to incentivize investment in near term carbon capture infrastructure, which would create jobs in a period of economic uncertainty. Accelerating clean energy projects and creating jobs is more critical now than ever before.”

– Adam Goff, Principal and Policy Director, 8 Rivers Capital

“As Congress looks to enact policies to drive economic recovery and climate action, carbon capture and removal can be a powerful tool. Expanding existing provisions to incentivize and support carbon capture and direct air capture projects can help create jobs, decarbonize the U.S., and drive economic growth across the country. While addressing the massive health and employment impacts of COVID-19 is currently the highest priority, we encourage the consideration of these provisions as we begin to shift towards longer-term economic recovery.”

– Noah Deich, Executive Director, Carbon180

“Systems International, Inc. and the ZEROS Project support the proposals and recommendations of the Carbon Capture Coalition. In particular; the extension of the 45Q tax credit period, direct-pay capability for the 45Q credits and CarbonSAFE enhancement will be critical to ensuring capital formation and project development goes forward. Carbon capture technology and implementation is critical to the future. The world needs more than 2000 carbon capture facilities to accomplish the goals set forth by the Paris Climate Accord, that is approximately 70 to 100 facilities a year by mid-century. There is no time to waste.”

– Steve L. Clark, President, Systems International, Inc.

“Economic recovery means getting back to work and working on things that benefit us in the long-term. Creating jobs in carbon capture does both, using innovation and economic stimulus to help build a low carbon energy future.”

– Kurt Waltzer, Managing Director, Clean Air Task Force