WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), released the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to grant the state of Wyoming “primacy” to issue permits for carbon sequestration wells for purposes beyond oil production, known as Class VI wells. Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality filed its formal application for primacy earlier this year. EPA’s proposed rule is the first step in the rulemaking process to give Wyoming permitting authority. 

“Wyoming is ready and capable of permitting many more carbon capture projects,” said Barrasso. “EPA’s proposal will give Wyoming that important authority. Wyoming is blessed with an abundance of resources like coal, natural gas, and oil that power America’s homes and businesses. Under the EPA’s proposal, Washington will recognize Wyoming’s expertise in capturing excess carbon and sequestering it underground. EPA’s proposal is a great example of Washington supporting leadership by states to address a changing climate through innovative technologies, not crushing regulation. The development of carbon capture technologies is very promising and holds the key to significant carbon emissions reductions.”

Last Congress, Barrasso, along with a bipartisan group of Senators, introduced the Furthering carbon capture, Utilization, Technology, Underground storage, and Reduced Emissions (FUTURE) Act. The bipartisan legislation – signed into law in 2018 – extends and expands the 45Q tax credit. The tax credit incentivizes utilities and other industrial sources to build-out carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) projects, including Class VI wells. The projects will reduce the energy sector’s and industrial sector’s carbon footprint. Barrasso is pressing the Internal Revenue Service to issue needed guidance and regulations to implement the credit. 

Barrasso has also introduced S. 383, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act. The USE IT Act would support carbon utilization and direct air capture research. This type of research is already taking place at research facilities like the Integrated Test Center outside of Gillette, Wyoming. The bill would also support federal, state, and non-governmental collaboration in the construction and development of CCUS facilities and carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines. The USE IT Act passed the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act this summer. The House still has not passed the legislation out of committee.