WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), ranking member Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), committee members Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) released the following statements on the committee’s passage of S. 2602, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act. The bipartisan legislation passed the committee by voice vote.
The USE IT Act is the most significant bipartisan carbon capture legislation ever to pass the EPW committee. This legislation follows the recently enacted Furthering Carbon Capture, Utilization, Technology, Underground Storage, and Reduced Emissions (FUTURE) Act, which expanded and extended the tax credit for carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) facilities.
“Wyoming’s abundant natural resources like coal, oil, and natural gas provide jobs and keep America on the path to energy dominance,” said Barrasso. “The USE IT Act will encourage the long term use of American-made energy and support research examining how we transform emissions into valuable products. The legislation promotes the use of carbon capture technology, and innovative research – like what is already happening at the Integrated Test Center, outside Gillette. I am thankful to the members of the committee for supporting the USE IT Act and will continue to work with them to send it to the president’s desk.”
“The science is clear and nearly unanimous – if we wish to prevent catastrophic changes to our environment as a result of climate change, we must dramatically cut our output of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses,” said Carper. “That is why for over a decade, I have supported, and even led, efforts to spur the development of carbon capture, utilization and sequestration technologies. Since introduction, the Chairman and the bill’s cosponsors have made significant changes to the underlying bill to address my initial concerns with the legislation. I believe with the changes made today, if passed, this legislation can support the development and deployment of new carbon capture, utilization and sequestration technologies while maintaining environmental and health protections. While this bill isn’t perfect, it reflects a compromise solution that will move us forward in addressing climate change. I thank Chairman Barrasso and Senators Whitehouse, Capito and Heitkamp for their work on this bipartisan legislation and their leadership in supporting CCUS technologies.”
“Catching carbon pollution before it hits the air can be part of a necessary solution to the climate change crisis,” said Whitehouse. “Building on the bipartisan cooperation behind the carbon capture and utilization tax credit, this bill can help get carbon removal projects rolling. It signals to utilities that we mean business and points the way for companies in Rhode Island and across the country finding innovative uses for carbon dioxide.”
“To reach our full energy potential, we need to pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy, and an important part of that is developing new and innovative ways to use our resources,” said Capito. “Building on the success of the bipartisan FUTURE Act, this legislation will provide new incentives for the deployment of carbon capture technologies and eliminate obstacles for those trying to reduce emissions. I am excited that we were able to pass this bipartisan bill out of committee today, putting us one step closer to finding innovative ways to use—rather than waste—carbon.”
“I’ve seen firsthand in Illinois how effective carbon capture, utilization and storage can be in bringing economic and environmental benefits. Investing in research and infrastructure for these technologies has the potential to encourage job growth, fight climate change and secure our global leadership in the energy sector for years to come,” Duckworth said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to support these emerging technologies by passing the USE IT Act.”
“After getting our bipartisan FUTURE Act signed into law earlier this year, our bipartisan USE IT Act continues important progress to support CCUS research and technology – as well as looks at ways to overcome challenges to building more CCUS projects and CO2 pipelines,” Heitkamp said. “CCUS benefits a wide range of industries, paves a long-term opportunity for North Dakota lignite coal, and supports enhanced oil recovery efforts in the Bakken – all while reducing carbon pollution. Just as we were able to build strong bipartisan support for the FUTURE Act and eventually see it get signed into law, we’re now on the right track with the USE IT Act. Passage in this committee is an important step forward for jobs and economic progress in North Dakota, and an all-of-the-above energy strategy that supports American jobs and will help the U.S. become a leader in developing and selling CCUS technologies.”
The USE IT Act was introduced by Barrasso with Whitehouse, Capito and Heitkamp as original cosponsors. Barrasso’s substitute amendment voted on today was cosponsored by Carper, Capito, Whitehouse, Duckworth, and Heitkamp. The legislation has received broad support from over two dozen, diverse stakeholders.
The USE IT Act supports carbon utilization and direct air capture research. The bill would also support federal, state, industry, and non-governmental collaboration in the construction and development of CCUS facilities and carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines.
On April 11, 2018, the EPW Committee held a legislative hearing on S. 2602, Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act. At the hearing, Mark Northam, executive director at the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources, testified how the USE IT Act will help promote Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) technologies.
On March 22, 2018, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act.
On November 15, 2017, Kipp Coddington, director of the Carbon Management Institute at the School of Energy Resources at the University of Wyoming (UW), testified before the EPW committee at a hearing on “Promoting American Leadership in Reducing Air Emissions Through Innovation.” Coddington outlined the numerous ways UW is examining to reduce carbon emissions through innovative technologies.
On September 13, 2017, Matt Fry, policy advisor to Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, testified at an EPW Committee hearing on “Expanding and Accelerating the Deployment and Use of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (CCUS).” Fry told the committee about Wyoming’s efforts to facilitate development of a CO2 pipeline network.
On July 25, 2017, Jason Begger, executive director of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority testified at an EPW Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee hearing on “Developing and Deploying Advanced Clean Energy Technologies.” Begger detailed how Wyoming is an emerging leader in CCUS development and how public-private partnerships help incentivize the development of carbon capture technologies.