WASHINGTON, D.C. — A broad group of stakeholders has voiced support for the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act. Public officials, academics, environmental organizations, and industry representatives have expressed their support for the legislation.
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. This collaboration will ensure that there is a clear regulatory framework to facilitate further development.
This legislation would complement the recently enacted Furthering Carbon Capture, Utilization, Technology, Underground Storage, and Reduced Emissions (FUTURE) Act, which expanded and extended the tax credit for CCUS.
The legislation is sponsored by U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) and committee member Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and cosponsored by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), the same group of senators who sponsored the FUTURE Act.
What They Are Saying About the Legislation:
“Wyoming is blessed with an abundance of coal, natural gas, and oil resources that fuel the state’s economy and provide Americans with affordable and reliable power. The bipartisan USE IT Act will promote the long term use of these critical natural resources and keep America on the path to energy dominance. My legislation will make Washington a helpful partner to efforts taking place in Wyoming to develop carbon capture technologies, convert carbon into a useful product, and reduce emissions.” (EPW Committee Chairman John Barrasso)
“After passing bipartisan legislation to encourage investing in carbon capture and utilization, we have a chance to advance these technologies even further. This bipartisan bill will help innovators around the country, including a growing number of businesses in Rhode Island, to come up with new ways to take carbon pollution out of the air and either stow it permanently underground or turn it into usable products. That’s a win for our climate, a win for innovative bioalgae and other utilization companies in Rhode Island, and a win for the economy overall.” (EPW Committee Member Sheldon Whitehouse)
“For America to reach its full energy potential, we need to continue pursuing a true all-of-the-above energy strategy—utilizing the many natural resources available to us while also working to develop new and innovative ways to use our energy resources. This bipartisan legislation will build on the success of our bipartisan FUTURE Act and provide additional incentives for the deployment of carbon capture technologies. It will also help us ensure there are no unnecessary obstacles for those trying to reduce their emissions and find innovative ways to use—rather than waste—carbon.” (EPW Committee Member Shelley Moore Capito)
“This bipartisan bill – led by the same four senators who drove the drafting and passage of the FUTURE Act – will promote efficient and effective regulations for expediting CO2 pipeline permitting, require ongoing work on overall guidance for the development and use of CCUS technologies and pipelines, and direct EPA to support CCUS research. This is just good policy and will further enhance our efforts to provide a path forward for coal-fired power in North Dakota while reducing emissions, and for increased CCUS development across the board.” (Senator Heidi Heitkamp)
“The USE IT Act provides support for carbon capture research and CO2 pipeline infrastructure, which are limiting factors in project deployment. This bill is a logical next step and will lead to projects being developed and allow continued use of abundant resources while lowering the nation’s carbon footprint.” (Wyoming Governor Matthew Mead)
“The USE IT Act will support research and development of direct air capture technology and of beneficial uses of carbon captured from industrial facilities and power plants to reduce emissions, as well as foster cooperative planning and permitting of pipeline infrastructure to transport carbon dioxide (CO2) from where it is captured to where it can be safely and permanently stored.” (Carbon Capture Coalition)
“Direct air capture is a cutting edge technology that could prove vital in protecting our planet and we appreciate that this bill would support further development. We also appreciate that this bill would provide necessary federal support for the growing carbon use industry. While there are dozens of carbon use projects globally, the United States is home to more than any other single country. We should support and cultivate this industry, which has the potential to establish new opportunities to beneficially use and store carbon dioxide.” (Third Way)
“Implementation of the USE IT Act will ultimately lead to solutions that will help bring down the costs of commercial-scale CCUS projects integrated with power generation. These efforts will complement and enhance work already being done through public-private partnerships such as the Wyoming Integrated Test Center and the National Carbon Capture Center.” (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association)
“In addition to technical and financial assistance to support research, your legislation would establish interagency guidance and a task force to facilitate CCUS infrastructure. The EERC supports these provisions as well, given the new infrastructure that will need to be developed on a considerable scale to commercially deploy CCUS technology at a meaningful scale.” (Energy & Environmental Research Center)
“The USE IT Act supports research on carbon utilization. I believe that transforming captured carbon emissions from a liability into a valuable commodity will be a powerful way to align our economic incentives with our environmental goals.” (Bob Perciasepe, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)
“The USEIT Act will greatly advance CCUS technology development by giving our industry access to solutions that will be necessary to build new test facilities and infrastructure that are important and commonsense solutions for lignite electric power generation. The Lignite Energy Council and our members support this legislation because it will help provide much needed financial and technical assistance to further our efforts towards CCUS.” (Lignite Energy Council)
“The USE IT Act's carbon utilization and direct air capture research are important to developing these technology breakthroughs. Collaboration among federal, state and non-government partners will also spur the development of carbon capture facilities and CO2 pipelines – infrastructure that is crucial in maximizing opportunities promoted by the USE IT Act.” (Bipartisan Policy Center Action)
“The support, research, technical and financial assistance that this legislation intends to channel will help to encourage further development and investment into carbon capture, utilization facilities and carbon dioxide pipelines, which will allow electric cooperatives to continue to invest in a diverse energy portfolio and benefit from utilization of North Dakota’s 800-year supply of coal. On behalf of North Dakota’s electric cooperatives, thank you for putting forward innovative viable solutions. The USEIT Act is key legislation that, if passed, will contribute to a more reliable, resilient and secure energy future for many years to come.” (North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives)
“The USE IT Act supports the research and regulatory actions necessary to speed the development and deployment of emerging CCU technologies. In combination with the reauthorization and enhancement of the section 45Q CCU tax credit enacted in the Bipartisan Budget Act, the USE IT Act will help drive investment in algae and other technologies that will transform carbon emissions from environmental challenge into economic opportunity.” (Algae Biomass Organization)
“The USE IT Act takes the commonsense approach of clarifying the eligibility to carbon capture and carbon dioxide transportation projects. It also establishes task forces made up of federal agencies, industry, and nonprofit organizations to recommend ways to facilitate reviews on carbon capture, utilization, and storage projects.” (ClearPath Action)
“I very much support the USE IT Act in creating an EPA program that helps develop direct air capture technology. An EPA advisory board on this technology would give it the visibility it deserves. I envision Direct Air Capture Institutes that provide the scientific underpinning and systems engineering for this new technology as well as industry – and venture – based R&D that in cooperation with EPA would create economically viable air capture technology.” (Klaus S. Lackner, Professor and Director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, Arizona State University)
“After passing legislation earlier this year expanding a key tax credit for the technology, the same bipartisan group of lawmakers are at it again with a new bill that further supports permitting of such projects… Congress doesn’t do much actual legislating in an election year other than on essential issues like spending, but if anything has a shot at passing, this would be it.” (Amy Harder, Axios)
List of Stakeholders Who Support the Legislation:
On April 11, 2018, the EPW Committee held a legislative hearing on the USE IT Act.
Read the text of the USE IT Act here.