April 23th, 2019


Washington, D.C.: Senator Barrasso (R-WY)’s USE IT Act, approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week, received generally positive marks, along with some suggested changes, in a robust discussion online by energy professionals from private companies, academia, and nonprofits, who debated the USE IT Act and the role of carbon capture, utilization, and storage/sequestration (CCUS) as a climate change solution.

OurEnergyPolicy.org has released a key comments document with highlights from the discussion, which members of Congress and their staff, journalists, and other entities interested in carbon capture can access as the USE IT Act advances in the Senate and as carbon capture legislation continues to receive attention in Congress.

“Bipartisan bills like the USE IT Act can benefit from the different perspectives and innovative ideas provided by our broad community of energy experts,” said Bill Squadron, President of OurEnergyPolicy.org. “We are pleased to work with Senator Barrasso and the other legislators to have OurEnergyPolicy.org’s platform for constructive dialogue generate valuable input on the proposed legislation.”

The USE IT Act (Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act, S. 383) is cosponsored by eight Democrats and five Republicans, including Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and James Inhofe (R-OK). It would support carbon dioxide (CO2) utilization and direct air capture research, as well as expedite permitting and development of CCUS projects and CO2 pipelines.

OurEnergyPolicy.org experts in its community of 1,600 energy professionals expressed a range of perspectives in the online discussion, including the following points:

On the role of CCUS in addressing climate change –

  • Carbon capture and direct air capture on a massive scale are necessary. (Dan Miller, The Rhoda Group)
  • No uses of CO2 will be even close to enough to compensate for all of the CO2 that we generate. Storage/sequestration still needs to be the predominant focus of CCUS technologies. (Roger Arnold, Silverthorn Engineering; Dan Miller, The Rhoda Group)
  • Of viable CO2 uses, enhanced oil recovery is the most established and may have the greatest potential for continued development of CO2 (Robert Grant, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Dan Miller, The Rhoda Group)
  • Direct air capture technologies will be important for difficult-to-decarbonize sectors.
    (Wil Burns, Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment [FCEA])

On the USE IT Act –

  • The USE IT Act is a strong step for market-driven CCUS, allowing the U.S. to lead globally. (Darren Goode, ClearPath)
  • The USE IT Act is a sensible proposal. CCUS needs support to become commercial for environment and national security reasons. (Robert Grant, U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
  • The USE IT Act must include an exemption for test wells in order to move the industry forward in a relevant time frame. Then it will be successful in helping us to address the global emissions problems that we face. (William Murray, R Street Institute)
  • The USE IT Act needs to address several important issues, including how power generation will be compensated for installing CCUS technology and how CO2 pipelines be funded and overcome issues that current new pipeline infrastructure faces. (Farangmeher Gadiali, Panda Stonewall)
  • A cap and trade or a carbon tax approach would both be a better policy to pursue than the USE IT Act. (Ken Dragoon, Ecofys)
  • The USE IT Act is better than doing nothing but not as strong a policy as putting a price on carbon. (Brent Nelson, Northern Arizona University)

Interested parties can see the key comments document for a full, categorized compilation of comment excerpts from the OurEnergyPolicy.org discussion.



About OurEnergyPolicy.org: OurEnergyPolicy.org is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing and facilitating substantive, responsible dialogue on energy policy issues and providing this discourse as a resource for the public, policymakers, and the media. OurEnergyPolicy.org also serves as a one-stop resource hub for all things energy policy and includes a free resource library, aggregated energy headlines, and national energy events calendar. OurEnergyPolicy.org does not advocate or endorse any specific points of views, but rather, works to encourage a broad discussion.



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