WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), joined with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to reintroduce S. 383, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act. The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), EPW Committee Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tina Smith (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Mike Enzi (R-WY).
The USE IT Act would support carbon utilization and direct air capture research. The bill would also support federal, state, and non-governmental collaboration in the construction and development of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) facilities and carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines.
“Congress needs to help make American energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can, without raising costs on consumers,” said Barrasso. “The USE IT Act will promote the long term use of Wyoming’s natural resources and help make America more energy dominant. This bill supports groundbreaking innovation to address climate change. Carbon capture and utilization technologies hold the key to major emissions reductions. The bipartisan legislation supports efforts to find profitable uses for captured carbon dioxide and simplifies the process for building carbon dioxide pipelines.”
“The science from the world’s top experts, including our own National Academies, shows that we ought to be reversing the carbon pollution driving climate change. If we don’t, it will be nearly impossible to avoid the worst of climate change,” said Whitehouse. “That’s why I’ve been working across the aisle on ways to boost promising new technologies like direct air capture. We’ve proven we can pass sensible bills like this with broad bipartisan support. Now let’s do it again.”
“This bipartisan legislation is part of a smart all-of-the-above energy plan,” Capito said. “By providing incentives for the deployment of carbon capture technologies and regulatory certainty for those trying to reduce their emissions by using their carbon, we’re building on America’s energy leadership and investing in innovative ways to use our energy resources.”
“Carbon capture, utilization and sequestration, or CCUS, technologies are critical in our fight against climate change,” said Ranking Member Carper. “The USE IT Act helps lower the current barriers that are preventing the wide-spread development and deployment of CCUS. I am especially pleased to see that this year’s version of the bill makes a more significant investment in direct air capture of carbon pollution, which recent studies show will be needed – along with emissions reductions - to mitigate the dangerous effects of climate change. With the changes we’ve made, I’m happy to join Chairman Barrasso and my other colleagues on the USE IT Act. Especially on the heels of reports saying that 2018 was one of the hottest years on record, we need all effective tools like CCUS in our arsenal to rapidly drive down carbon emissions. I hope that we can continue to work on solutions like this that will reduce carbon emissions and spur good-paying American jobs in engineering, manufacturing and installation of these crucially needed technologies.”
The USE IT Act would:
- Narrowly amend the Clean Air Act to direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use its existing authority to support carbon utilization and direct air capture research;
- Clarify that CCUS projects and CO2 pipelines are eligible for the permitting review process established by the FAST Act;
- Direct the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to establish guidance to assist project developers and operators of CCUS facilities and CO2 pipelines;
- Establish task forces to hear input from affected stakeholders for updating and improving guidance over time; and
- Build on the FUTURE Act, bipartisan legislation – now signed into law – introduced by Barrasso, Whitehouse, and Capito to extend and expand the 45Q tax credit to provide certainty to utilities and other industrial sources and incentivize the build-out of CCUS projects.
Read the text of the USE IT Act here.
On March 22, 2018, Barrasso, Whitehouse, Capito, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced the USE IT Act during the 115th Congress.
On May 22, 2018, the EPW Committee unanimously passed the USE IT Act.