WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks at a committee business meeting.

At the business meeting, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act and the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2019 passed the committee by voice vote. The committee also advanced the following items:

• S.1061, John F. Kennedy Center Reauthorization Act of 2019; and
• 8 General Services Administration resolutions.

To watch the full business meeting, click here.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks:

“Today we will consider three bills and eight General Services Administration resolutions...

“The first bill we will consider is S. 383, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act, or the USE IT Act.

“The USE IT Act is bipartisan piece of legislation to promote carbon capture technologies that take carbon out of the air and find productive uses for it.

"Carbon capture, utilization and sequestration is needed to reduce the impacts of climate change while also delivering abundant and affordable energy to the nation.

“You don’t have to take my word for it.

“Across the board, carbon capture is seen as a critically important technology.

“State governments, industry stakeholders, labor organizations like the Utility Workers Union of America, and environmental groups like the Audubon Society or the Nature Conservancy all recognize the importance of carbon capture.

“At our hearing in February to consider the USE IT Act, we heard about the critical role of carbon capture technologies in addressing climate change.

“The Clean Air Task Force testified, ‘Carbon capture, utilization and storage, and direct air capture will play a crucial role in decarbonizing our global energy system.’

“I’ve repeatedly said, the best way to combat climate change is through innovation, not government taxation or regulation.

“The USE IT Act will continue to cement the United States as a global innovation leader in carbon capture.

“The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has recognized the pivotal role that carbon capture can play in meeting its climate targets.

“My support for climate innovation does not rest on carbon capture alone.

“We have worked together in a bipartisan manner on this committee to support the most reliable, zero-emission source of energy we have – which is nuclear energy.

“Last year, we passed the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act.

“We must continue to address fundamental issues to allow nuclear energy to grow in the future –issues like the need to properly manage and dispose spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain.

“The second bill we’re going to consider today is another important step forward in addressing emissions that contribute to climate change – S. 747, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2019, or DERA.

“Since Congress first created the program in 2005, it’s enjoyed broad bipartisan support.

“This legislation would re-authorize the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act through fiscal year 2024.

“I want to thank the Ranking Member and his staff for their leadership on this program over the years.

“The program has been one of the most cost-effective clean air programs.

“Like the USE IT Act, The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act supports innovation-led solutions to environmental protection.

“Upgrading diesel engines not only reduces nitrogen oxide but also emissions of both black carbon and carbon dioxide.

“Black Carbon is a component of particulate matter that has a global warming potential that may be thousands of times higher than carbon dioxide over a 20 year timeframe.

“Today we are moving two bipartisan bills out of this committee that are going to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change.

“And there will be more to come.

“The USE IT Act and the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2019 each passed our committee by voice vote in the last Congress.

“I urge my colleagues to once again support passage of these bills today, as then we work it across the full Senate and get signed into law.

“When we work together, we have shown we can promote American leadership, grow our economy, and lower emissions.

“The third bill we will consider is S.1061, the John F. Kennedy Center Reauthorization Act of 2019, which reauthorizes funding for the Kennedy Center.

“Last Congress, this committee approved this legislation by a voice vote, and the Senate passed it by unanimous consent.

“We will also consider eight resolutions to approve prospectuses providing for a General Services Administration lease, acquisition, and alterations.”