“Located next to Basin Electric’s Dry Fork Power Station, the Integrated Test Center hosts research that will create new markets and new jobs in Wyoming.”


GILLETTE, WY — 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 field hearing titled “Energy and Environmental Innovation: Wyoming’s Leadership in Using and Storing Carbon Dioxide Emissions.” 

The field hearing took place at the Integrated Test Center in Gillette, WY. 

The hearing featured testimony from Jason Begger, managing director of the Wyoming Integrated Test Center; Dr. Holly Krutka executive director of the School of Energy Resources at the University of Wyoming; and Dr. Marcius Extavour, executive director of NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE. 

For more information on witness testimony click here. 

Senator Barrasso’s remarks as prepared: 

“The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is honored to convene in Wyoming for a field hearing at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center. 

“I would like to thank Senator Enzi – Wyoming’s Senior Senator, Senate Budget Committee Chairman, and most importantly, former Mayor of Gillette, for joining us at today’s hearing.

“Today we will discuss Wyoming’s leadership in using and storing carbon dioxide emissions. 

“Just outside these doors is a world-class facility, where research is underway to study how we can create commercial value from carbon dioxide that would otherwise just go up into the air. 

“Located next to Basin Electric’s Dry Fork Power Station, the Integrated Test Center hosts research that will create new markets and new jobs in Wyoming. 

“The center will research how to transform coal power plant emissions into building materials like cement, as well as alternative fuels. 

“Through a relationship with the NRG Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, or COSIA, X Prize, the center will welcome five teams of researchers from around the world. 

“Last year, I met one of the finalist teams – from Aberdeen, Scotland –during a trip to Scotland with other senators from this committee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. 

“It’s not surprising that Wyoming can attract such top talent. 

“In Wyoming, we are blessed with tremendous fuel resources, including coal, natural gas, and oil. 

“Most of that coal comes from right here in Campbell County. 

“The world class researchers at this center will study how to transform the carbon dioxide from burning these abundant fuel resources into a host of new and innovative applications. 

“These new applications can be added to currently viable commercial uses of carbon dioxide. 

“A process known as enhanced oil recovery is already used in Wyoming. 

“This is where carbon dioxide is injected to produce oil from older, more mature fields. 

“Once this process is complete, the carbon dioxide is permanently stored underground. 

“If we can harness carbon dioxide from power plants and other facilities, Wyoming has the potential for even broader-scale enhanced oil recovery. 

“Wyoming has abundant deep saline formations. 

“These formations can store carbon dioxide deep underground, instead of being released into the air. 

“Scientists from the University of Wyoming are conducting geologic testing in a formation just a short distance from this center. 

“As chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, carbon capture is one of my top policy priorities. 

“Two years ago, President Trump signed an extension and expansion of the 45Q tax credit for carbon capture facilities.

“Now we must make sure the credit can be deployed and used to build new carbon capture projects. 

“In order to accomplish this goal, I have pushed the Internal Revenue Service to issue much-needed guidance this year. 

“I have also introduced legislation called the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act – or USE IT Act – to complement the 45Q tax credit. 

“This bill ensures that Washington is a willing partner in the development of carbon capture projects. 

“The USE IT Act helps researchers find commercial uses for captured carbon dioxide emissions.

“It supports the use of carbon capture technology including direct air capture. 

“The USE IT Act also directs the federal government to work with developers to expedite, not block, permitting. 

“We know too well that delayed permitting can kill projects. 

“The USE IT Act also funds research such as the type of research occurring here at the Integrated Test Center for carbon utilization as well as direct air capture. 

“The USE IT Act passed the Senate for a second time this summer after passing the Committee unanimously, 21-0. 

“Last year, House Democrats blocked it becoming law.

“I am working to secure its passage into law this year. 

“Wyoming is leading the nation in carbon capture research. 

“I am pleased that today’s hearing can shine a spotlight on the great work happening here in our state.”