The USE IT Act will Support Carbon Capture Utilization and Direct Capture Research at Facilities Like the Integrated Test Center Outside of Gillette.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Senate passed S. 383, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) and sponsor of the USE IT Act, worked with Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who is a cosponsor of S.383, to include the bill in NDAA.

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 carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) facilities and carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines.

“I want to make American energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can, without raising costs on families,” said Barrasso. “The best way to do that is through innovation, not government regulation. The USE IT Act is a bipartisan bill to promote carbon capture technologies that take carbon out of the air and find productive uses for it. These promising technologies could result in significant emissions reductions. The USE IT Act will support the type of great research already happening in Wyoming at the Integrated Test Center and around the country. I want to thank Chairman Inhofe for making the USE IT Act a priority. This is an important step toward having the legislation signed into law.”

“The USE IT Act aligns with my goal of making Wyoming a global leader in carbon capture technology,” Governor Mark Gordon said. “This bipartisan legislation encourages a collaborative approach to achieving carbon emission reductions while not sacrificing the affordability and reliability that Wyoming’s energy resources provide America’s electrical grid. I applaud Senator Barrasso’s efforts to include this important legislation in the National Defense Authorization Act.”

“Wyoming has long been a leader in providing the nation's energy,” said Jason Begger, Wyoming Infrastructure Authority’s Executive Director. “The state is the country's largest coal producer and is near the top in oil and natural gas production. Wyoming has made significant investments in developing carbon management technologies, recognizing it is the only viable pathway to meaningfully impact CO2 reductions in a carbon constrained society. Wyoming has led the way in finding solutions; and developing CCUS technology in America and exporting it globally provides new opportunities both in Wyoming and for the nation. The USE IT Act provides the resources necessary to scale-up carbon utilization technologies, which is a major aim of the Wyoming Integrated Test Center. This bill highlights the broad, bipartisan coalition for these technologies and the necessary CO2 pipeline infrastructure that’s needed for commercialization. Wyoming, and the research occurring at the Integrated Test Center, will continue to find innovative uses for our mineral resources.”

The USE IT Act complements the bipartisan FUTURE Act that passed last year. The USE IT Act would:

• Narrowly amend the Clean Air Act to direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support carbon utilization and direct air capture research;
• Clarify that CCUS projects and CO2 pipelines are eligible for the streamlined permitting review process established by the FAST Act;
• Direct the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to establish guidance to expedite the development of CCUS facilities and CO2 pipelines; and
• Establish task forces to hear input from affected stakeholders for updating and improving guidance over time.

The USE IT Act is cosponsored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), 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), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Hoeven (R-ND), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Steve Daines (R-MT).

Read the text of the USE IT Act included in the NDAA here.

Background Information:

On April 10, 2019, the EPW Committee unanimously passed the USE IT Act at an EPW Committee business meeting.

On February 27, 2019, the EPW Committee held a legislative hearing on S. 383. All three witnesses testified in support of the bill: Paul Sukut, General Manager & CEO, Basin Electric Power Cooperative; Steve Oldham, CEO, Carbon Engineering; and Kurt Waltzer, Managing Director, Clean Air Task Force.

On February 7, 2019, Barrasso joined with Whitehouse to introduce the USE IT Act. Capito, Carper, Duckworth, Cramer, Smith, Manchin, and Enzi also joined as original cosponsors.

The USE IT Act was first introduced during the 115th Congress. The EPW Committee also advanced the legislation unanimously in 2018.