Barrasso-Whitehouse bill up for debate

Senators from opposite sides of the political and environmental spectrum will huddle with a host of top researchers this week to discuss legislation aimed at boosting carbon-capturing technologies.

The Environment and Public Works Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday to discuss a bipartisan bill, S. 2602, the "Utilizing Significant Emissions With Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act."

EPW Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the bill last month to make several changes to federal law, including amending the Clean Air Act to direct U.S. EPA in supporting carbon utilization and air capture research (E&E Daily, March 23).

Under the bill, the Council on Environmental Quality would be called upon to establish guidance on CO2 pipelines and carbon capture facilities, and clarify that projects qualify under the permitting review process established by the 2015 Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

The bill would also establish task forces in consultation with federal agencies to advance carbon-capture technologies and identify permitting challenges, and set up a federal Direct Air Capture Technology Advisory Board.

Co-sponsors of the legislation include Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).

Schedule: The hearing is Wednesday, April 11, at 10:15 a.m. in 406 Dirksen.

Witnesses: Mark Northam, director of the School of Energy Resources at the University of Wyoming; Julio Friedmann, former Department of Energy official and CEO of Carbon Wrangler LLC; Noah Deich, executive director for the Center for Carbon Removal; and Feng Jiao, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and associate director for the Center for Catalytic Science & Technology at the University of Delaware.

By:  Hannah Northey
Source: E&E News