The USE IT Act will Support Innovation and Incentivize Carbon Capture Development and Deployment.

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).

Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) 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 National Defense Authorization Act passed the Senate 86 to 8.

In addition to Sen. Inhofe, there are 15 cosponsors including: Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), EPW Ranking Member 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), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Hoeven (R-ND), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Steve Daines (R-MT).

The USE IT Act supports 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 also supports 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 science is clear that avoiding the worst of climate change will mean more than reducing carbon pollution,” said Whitehouse. “It will mean actively pulling back out of the air what the fossil fuel industry pumped out. I’m proud to be working across the aisle on ways to boost promising new technologies like direct air capture. We’ve done it before. With this bill, we’re poised to do it again.”

“The USE IT Act embodies how innovation, not regulation, is the right way to tackle environmental issues,” said Capito. “Carbon capture technologies are essential to reducing emissions while protecting jobs. I’m proud of this work from colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and I’m proud to see it pass the Senate with bipartisan support.”

“Military leaders have warned us for years that climate change poses both immediate and long-term threats to our national security and military readiness,” said Carper. “These are real dangers that will only worsen in time if we do nothing to stem the tide of this crisis. While CCUS is only one part of the equation, we need to be using every tool at our disposal to significantly and rapidly reduce carbon emissions and protect our economy, national security, and environment from the worsening impacts of climate change. I’m especially thankful that the legislation takes meaningful strides in advancing direct air capture technology, an exciting area of innovation. The USE IT Act will help put this emerging industry on sound footing, creating jobs here at home and helping our manufacturers export American-made technology to the world.”

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.

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.