WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final 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. 

“The Trump administration is supporting states taking the lead to address a changing climate through innovative technologies, not crushing regulation,” said Barrasso. “This final rule will give Wyoming the authority to permit many more carbon capture projects. 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 final rule, Washington will recognize Wyoming’s expertise in capturing excess carbon and sequestering it underground.” 

As chairman, Barrasso pushed for finalization of this proposal during an oversight hearing of the EPA in May. Barrasso also discussed the proposal last month at a field hearing at the Integrated Test Center in Gillette, Wyoming. 

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 pressed the Internal Revenue Service to issue needed guidance and regulations to implement the credit this year. 

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.