US Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Chris Coons (D-DE) and U.S. Representatives Marc Veasey (D-TX) and David McKinley (R-WV) introduced a bill on March 17th. The bill is to require the Secretary of Energy to establish programs for carbon capture, transport, utilization, and storage in Louisiana.
It is called Storing CO2 And Lowering Emissions or SCALE Act. The SCALE act is the first and most comprehensive CO2 infrastructure package to be introduced in Congress.
The bill’s goal is to promote the establishment of infrastructure to transport CO2 from the sites of capture to locations. Those locations could be either underground or allowing utilization of the CO2 in manufacturing or for other usage. The act aims to make Louisiana a national hub for carbon capture and sequestration.
Senator Coons, co-chair of the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus said: “Carbon capture, utilization, and storage will play a critical role in meeting mid-century climate goals, supporting high-paying manufacturing jobs, and maintaining American competitiveness, but cost barriers currently stand in the way of its widespread deployment in the United States. I’m working to advance the SCALE Act to build this crucial infrastructure that will help reduce industrial emissions and create thousands of high-wage jobs. Now is the time to invest in carbon capture, a promising technology with broad support.”
Carbon Capture Bill Objectives
The bill’s objectives are to:
- bring the private sector billions in investments for CO2 transport infrastructure projects
- establish the CO2 Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program
- upgrade the US Department of Energy’s CarbonSAFE program to provide cost sharing for deployment of commercial-scale saline geologic CO2 storage projects
- authorize increased funding to EPA for permitting Class VI CO2 storage wells in saline geologic formations
- provide grants for state and local governments for procuring CO2 utilization products. They are to create demand for materials, fuels and other products made from captured carbon
The bill facilitates the building of midstream and downstream infrastructure. It is key to the deployment of carbon capture technologies. It is estimated that the package could be responsible for 13,000 new direct and indirect jobs each year during its five-year authorization. Some more jobs would be created by the re-equipment of facilities that emit CO2. That is on top of the additional jobs by building direct air capture plants.
The SCALE Act would provide the legal support that is necessary to kick-start a CO2 transport and storage infrastructure. That is crucial to boost the CCS technology development and get the US back on track to meeting its carbon reduction targets.