Over the last few weeks, there have been a few developments on the carbon capture and storage front. Recently, the Department of Energy has pledged more than $575 million in stimulus funding towards 22 carbon capture and storage projects. The projects are aimed at developing large scale advanced gasification technology, turbo-machinery, post-combustion CO2 capture and geological storage site characterization. DOE Secretary Chu said, “This is a major step forward in the fight to reduce carbon emissions from industrial plants. These new technologies will not only help fight climate change, they will create jobs now and help position the United States to lead the world in clean coal technologies, which will only increase in demand in the years ahead.”
On the legislative front, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) is pushing for carbon capture and storage tax credits to be part of the upcoming larger tax package that is expected to be voted on this year. Tax legislation is one of the top priorities for Democrats before the midterm elections. It would be one of the few climate related provisions to be included if Conrad is successful. Conrad introduced S.3714 in early August. The legislation is co-sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee. It would provide tax credits for coal-fired power plants and coal-to-liquid (CTL) fuel facilities that capture and store their carbon dioxide emissions.