Lawmakers introduce bipartisan carbon capture bills

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February 13, 2019

Two bipartisan carbon capture bills were introduced in the Senate on February 7.

The Carbon Capture Modernization Act (S. 407) was introduced by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) to modify the existing tax credit for investment in clean coal facilities so that it would more effectively encourage the use of carbon capture and sequestration technologies.

Senator Hoeven shared a compilation of opinions from industry representatives highlighting the benefits of the bill. For instance, ClearPath Action Executive Director Rich Powell praised the bill, highlighting its ability as a bipartisan effort to produce sensible solutions that benefit domestic energy production while reducing emissions. In the past, other carbon capture legislative proposals have struggled to gain footing in Congress mainly due to being faulted as ineffective either for failing to provide sufficient financial incentives or neglecting to significantly cut carbon emissions.   

The Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act (S. 383) was also introduced on the same day by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY). The USE IT Act seeks to support carbon utilization and direct air capture research. It would also facilitate federal, state, and non-governmental collaboration in the development of carbon capture, utilization, and storage projects. An identical bill (H.R. 1166) was introduced in the House on February 13 by Representative Scott Peters (D-CA-52).

If approved, the USE IT Act would create a Direct Air Capture Technology Advisory Board with expertise in climate science, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, economics, and business management.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), an original cosponsor of the bill, believes that incentives are the key for building America’s energy leadership and investing in new ways to use our energy resources.

Sources: American Institute of Physics; E&E News; The Hill; Library of Congress; U.S. Senate, Committee on Environment and Public Works.