Click here to watch Chairman Barrasso’s remarks.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — 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 legislative hearing on S. 2602, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act.

The USE IT Act would support carbon utilization and direct air capture research. 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. The USE IT Act is sponsored by EPW Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY), and Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).

The hearing featured testimony from Dr. Mark Northam, executive director at the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources; Dr. S. Julio Friedmann, chief executive officer of Carbon Wrangler, LLC; Noah Deich, executive director at the Center for Carbon Removal; and Dr. Feng Jiao, associate professor of chemical & biomolecular engineering and associate director for the Center for Catalytic Science & Technology at the University of Delaware.

For more information on their testimonies click here.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks:

“Today, we are here to discuss promising bipartisan legislation recently introduced by the chairman along with Senators Whitehouse, Capito, and Heitkamp.

“The bill is called the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act or simply, the USE IT Act.

“It is called the USE IT Act because the bill would encourage the commercial use of man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

“The bill supports the use of carbon capture technology, and innovative research at sites with captured carbon dioxide.

“The legislation also facilitates permitting for carbon dioxide pipelines in order to move the carbon dioxide from where it is captured to where it is stored or used.

“The USE IT Act complements and builds off of recently-passed legislation that was introduced by the same bipartisan group of senators. That one was called the FUTURE Act.

“The ‘Furthering Carbon Capture, Utilization, Technology, Underground Storage, and Reduced Emissions Act,’ or simply, the FUTURE Act. It expanded and extended the 45Q tax credit for carbon capture.

“Carbon capture can and does work.

“The committee heard testimony from David Greeson of NRG Energy last year.

“Their Petra Nova project, outside of Houston, is the largest carbon capture project of its kind in the world.

“That project has now captured and used more than one million tons of carbon.

“The FUTURE Act is going to spur investment in more additional carbon capture projects like Petra Nova.

“In developing both the FUTURE Act and the USE IT Act, senators on both sides of the aisle have found areas of common ground.

“I appreciate Senator Whitehouse’s leadership as we worked together to develop the USE IT Act.

“I am going to continue to work with Senator Whitehouse to ensure any amendments to this bill are built on bipartisan consensus as we work to move it through committee, and ultimately to the president’s desk.

“In my home state of Wyoming, we are blessed with an abundant supply of coal, oil, uranium, and natural gas.

“These tremendous resources fuel our state economy and employ people in well-paying jobs.

“They provide affordable and reliable power to our nation.

“Coal, oil, uranium, and natural gas also make the United States more secure by making us less dependent on energy resources from other countries.

“We cannot afford to leave our resources stranded in the ground.

“That is why America must lead through innovation, and not regulation, as we continue to reduce emissions.

“This is the approach we take in the USE IT Act.

“The bill will also allow coal plants in my home state of Wyoming to capture their CO2 emissions and turn them into valuable products.

“It will encourage the use and permanent sequestration of CO2.

“Greater use of these technologies, coupled with research support from the EPA, could lead to additional innovative technologies that will use CO2 emissions.

“This is a market-driven approach.

“We are encouraging the development of markets for CO2 use.

“All of these actions will result in less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

“The USE It Act is important for Wyoming.

“The Sheridan Press published a front page article, titled, ‘Senate Bill Could Stimulate State Carbon Capture Projects.’

“In the article, Jason Begger, executive director of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, who has testified before this committee, endorsed the USE IT Act.

“He explained how the legislation will allow Wyoming to diversify the use of its energy resources.

“I ask that this article be entered into the record.

“The USE IT Act has two titles, one that promotes research and another to facilitate development of carbon capture projects and CO2 pipelines.

“The first title directs the EPA to conduct carbon dioxide research activities under existing authority in the Clean Air Act.

“Specifically, EPA would provide technical and financial assistance to carbon dioxide utilization projects that use CO2 generated from industrial facilities.

“EPA would also administer a competitive prize program to promote another innovative technology: direct air capture.

“The second title is all about creating a favorable environment for the permitting and development of the infrastructure needed to make carbon capture successful.

“In this title, the bill clarifies that carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration projects, as well as carbon dioxide pipelines, should be permitted in a timely and coordinated manner.

“The bill will send an important signal to project developers that the federal government is committed to be a partner in project development and in exploring new commercial uses for carbon dioxide. 

“The bill also establishes a process for stakeholders to work together to identify and develop models that facilitate the permitting and development of carbon capture projects and carbon dioxide pipelines.

“So I look forward to working with the members of the committee to advance this critical legislation.”