07.12.17

Capito, Heitkamp, Whitehouse Lead Bipartisan Coalition to Reintroduce Bill Promoting Carbon Capture

Bipartisan bill has strong, broad support from Republican and Democrat senators, coal companies, environmental groups, labor organizations | Bill would extend and expand tax credits encouraging investment and innovation in CCUS—reducing carbon emissions, recognizing need for diverse energy mix

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today led a broad bipartisan group of senators in reintroducing legislation to extend and expand a key tax credit to encourage technological innovation that would reduce carbon emissions, and recognize the need for a diverse energy mix around the world for years to come. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is an original sponsor of the bill.

The 45Q tax credit, which the bill would extend, supports maintaining a place in our energy mix for existing resources like coal and natural gas by encouraging development and use of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies and processes—while also spurring adoption of low-carbon technologies to transform carbon pollution into useable products. Since the original introduction last July, the senators have worked to build out bipartisan support among more progressive Democratic senators and more conservative Republican senators. A wide cross-section of coal companies, utilities, environmental groups, and labor organizations also support the bill, reinforcing a willingness from all sides to come together and seek bipartisan solutions.

“The United States has an opportunity to be a leader when it comes to carbon capture technologies, and the FUTURE Act will help us achieve that goal,” Senator Capito said. “Not only will it help us protect our coal industry, which is so critical to states like West Virginia, but it will also help us expand our oil production, reduce our emissions and compete internationally as other countries continue to build coal plants to power their economic development. The legislation will incentivize investments in the deployment of proven carbon capture systems, a key component of pursuing a true all-of-the-above energy strategy. I’m proud to introduce this legislation with colleagues from both sides of the aisle and broad support from industry, environmentalists, utilities and state leaders.”

U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) helped write and introduce the bill.

The senators’ bipartisan bill would extend and expand the 45Q tax credit to provide certainty to utilities and other industrial sources, and would incentivize the build-out of industrial carbon capture projects that plan to use CO2 and CO for enhanced oil recovery and carbon utilization—the conversion of carbon dioxide into useable products. The 45Q provision is an integral part of the tax code for incentivizing carbon capture. Carbon capture cannot take off on a large scale unless there is federal support to encourage investment and implementation of the technology through tax credits and other mechanisms, which this bill would provide. The bill would also provide a crucial lifeline to coal miners by providing a pathway to maintain coal as a part of our diverse energy mix, doing so in a cleaner way, and reinforcing bipartisan support for standing up for these workers and their communities.

In addition to extending 45Q, the bill strengthens support for carbon capture technologies by increasing the “commence construction” window for carbon capture projects from five to seven years and by increasing the number of years to claim the credits from 10 to 12 years.

U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.).

Senator Capito has long been a leader in advocating for a national energy policy focused on domestic energy production and distribution to reduce dependence on foreign oil, the deployment of advanced technologies in the marketplace and informed environmental regulation. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, she oversees the agencies regulating the country’s carbon- and nuclear-fueled baseload electric generation, manufacturing and transportation sectors. In this role, she is focused on preventing regulatory red tape from discouraging investments that will have economic and environmental benefits and is working to reform the process for establishing ozone standards. Capito has also long supported institutions like West Virginia University (WVU) and the National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) that work on carbon capture, advanced materials manufacturing and energy efficiency technologies. Last week, Capito hosted Energy Secretary Rick Perry in West Virginia to visit WVU and NETL, and engage with local leaders and stakeholders on the establishment of a regional natural gas liquids storage hub that could revolutionize American energy production and spur manufacturing in the region. 

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