- The Republican-led Senate approved 86-8 the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a legislative package that included bipartisan carbon capture legislation, on Thursday.
- S. 383, introduced by Senate Environmental and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., among others, garnered support across the aisle as an important infrastructure and research investment in the face of potential carbon constraints on the manufacturing and electric utility sectors.
- The bill had a series of co-sponsors, including Sen. John Inhofe, R-Okla., and other senators that have backed the coal industry. The large defense omnibus is also expected to pass the Democratic-led House of Representatives.
Carbon capture technology has the potential to support coal and gas-fired generation in a carbon-constrained regulatory environment, but the expensive equipment hasn't fully been embraced by the electric sector.
The carbon capture bill is the latest policy action meant to increase business sector access to multiple revenue streams, from the 45Q tax credit for capturing and/or storing carbon dioxide to the profits of utilizing it for enhanced oil recovery or other manufacturing processes.
"Facilitating the build out of carbon dioxide pipelines and related infrastructure backed by the USE IT Act is a logical next step to facilitate U.S. carbon capture technologies," Rich Powell, ClearPath executive director, said in a statement.
S. 383, or the USE IT Act, would build out infrastructure to foster economies of scale among carbon capture projects and promote research in other carbon technologies such as direct air capture. Besides enjoying support across a broad political spectrum, the bill also had a House counterpart.
The passage of the policy by a Republican-led Congress demonstrates that "climate legislation can be bipartisan," Chris Guith, acting president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Energy Institute, said in a statement.
However, more work is needed to enable coal and gas plants to add the technology to existing plants or to design plants with carbon capture capabilities.