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Press Release: Diverse Coalition Applauds Introduction of Carbon Capture Incentive Legislation in the U.S. Senate

The National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) and Coal Utilization Research Council (CURC) applaud U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp and Sheldon Whitehouse and co-sponsoring Senators Jon Tester, Brian Schatz, Cory Booker, and Tim Kaine for today’s introduction of the Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Act, which aims to accelerate commercial deployment of technologies to capture carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and industrial facilities for enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) and other forms of geologic storage or for conversion to useful products.

“We commend Senators Heitkamp and Whitehouse and their colleagues for continued leadership and support of carbon capture, use and storage. The legislation provides a performance-based incentive to capture CO2, put it to productive use, and store it safely and permanently underground, helping to preserve and create good- paying jobs, increase U.S. oil production, and reduce emissions from the use of America’s domestic energy resources,” said Brad Crabtree, Vice President for Fossil Energy at the Great Plains Institute and co-director of NEORI.

The Heitkamp-Whitehouse legislation would provide financial certainty for private investors and stimulate commercial deployment of carbon capture projects. The legislation would extend the current federal Section 45Q tax credit incentive and increase its value for each ton of CO2 that is captured from power plants and industrial facilities and stored through EOR or other geologic storage. The legislation would reward performance because only projects that successfully capture and store CO2 could claim the credit. The legislation also would expand eligibility for the credit, so that more industries and facilities in more states could participate, and it would extend CO2 capture and use to new commercial applications beyond oil recovery.

“This legislation provides a critically-needed incentive for industry to invest in carbon capture technologies at power plants and industrial facilities that rely on coal, which will benefit both our nation’s energy security and the environment,” said Shannon Angielski, Executive Director of CURC.

“This legislation provides the policy support we need to accelerate carbon capture, use and storage. CCUS technology will play a critical role in achieving the emissions reductions in both the power and industrial sectors that we need by 2050 and beyond,” said Bob Perciasepe, President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), which co-convenes NEORI with the Great Plains Institute.

NEORI and CURC members see the Heitkamp-Whitehouse legislation as further evidence of growing political momentum in Congress for strengthening and extending the 45Q incentive this year, which remains a top priority for their industry, labor and environmental coalitions. The Heitkamp-Whitehouse legislation complements the Carbon Capture Act of 2016 (H.R. 4622) introduced in February by Representative Mike Conaway and co-sponsored by 25 Republicans and 12 Democrats in the House. The Heitkamp-Whitehouse legislation also expands on the bipartisan Senate amendment (SA 3645) co-authored by Senator Heitkamp and Senator Shelley Moore Capito with five Republican and two Democratic co-sponsors and offered in April to legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration.

For over 40 years, the U.S. independent oil and gas industry has led the world in using CO2 for oil production and geologic storage of carbon, and CO2-EOR currently provides nearly 4 percent of domestic oil production and utilizes roughly 65 million tons of CO2 annually. According to a recent U.S. Department of Energy study, an increased supply of CO2 could enable the EOR industry to produce an additional 21-63 billion barrels of oil with today’s technology and store 10-20 billion tons of CO2, or up to four years’ worth of national emissions.

Additionally, both the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have highlighted the critical role that CCUS must play to meet global mid-century goals for mitigating carbon emissions from electric power generation and from a wide range of industrial activities, including natural gas processing, ethanol, fertilizer and hydrogen production, refining, and the manufacture of cement, steel and chemicals.

NEORI brings together coal, electric power, ethanol, chemical and energy technology companies, industrial labor unions, national environmental and climate organizations, and state officials dedicated to expanding deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage as an energy, economic and environmental solution for our nation.

CURC is an organization of coal-using utilities, coal producers, equipment suppliers, technology developers and research institutions, universities and state government entities focused on the development of technologies for the continued utilization of our abundant coal resources. 

Contact: Ben Finzel, 202-277-6286,