Congress needs to help make American energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can, without raising costs on consumers. That’s why I, along with a bipartisan group of Senators, introduced the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act, or simply, the USE IT Act. We held a Senate hearing on this bill several weeks ago.
The USE IT Act would encourage the commercial use of man-made carbon dioxide emissions and support the use of carbon capture technology, including direct air capture. The legislation also expedites permitting for carbon dioxide pipelines in order to move the carbon dioxide from where it is captured to where it is stored or used. America should reduce emissions through innovation, not punishing government regulations. The USE IT Act advances that goal.
The USE IT Act is a commonsense piece of legislation to help turn carbon dioxide emissions into valuable products. We can use carbon dioxide to extract oil from wells that wouldn’t otherwise be profitable through a process called enhanced oil recovery. We can capture carbon dioxide and use it to make building materials and carbon fiber. Captured carbon can even be used for medical purposes.
Support for the USE IT Act has grown from an initial bipartisan group of four Senators, when I introduced it last year, to a larger group of thirteen Senators, including seven of my colleagues on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Along with Senators Whitehouse and Capito, I am pleased this Congress to have Ranking Member Carper, Senator Cramer, Senator Duckworth, Senator Rounds, Senator Inhofe, and Senator Van Hollen as cosponsors of the USE IT Act. In addition, a bipartisan companion bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives.
Interest in the USE IT Act has continued to grow, in large part due to the bipartisan success we had with the FUTURE Act, which extended and expanded the so-called 45Q tax credit for using and storing carbon dioxide and was signed into law a year ago. The Clean Air Task Force called the FUTURE Act “one of the most important bills for reducing global warming pollution in the last two decades.”
This Congress, I have continued to focus on ways to expedite and expand the use of carbon capture, beginning with the USE IT Act. When we work together, we have shown we can promote American leadership, grow our economy, and lower our emissions.