Rockefeller introduces bills for clean coal incentives, research

 

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has introduced a set of bills aimed at incentivizing carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and funding federal research that could improve the process.

In addition to funding CCS research, Rockefeller’s legislation would expand tax credits for companies that use CCS, fund loan guarantees for constructing CCS facilities and fund retrofits of existing CCS facilities.

CCS is the process of capturing carbon dioxide emissions and moving them into storage, so that they do not enter the atmosphere. One of Rockefeller’s bills specifically targets the process of injecting carbon dioxide into oil wells to increase the wells’ yield, a practice known as enhanced oil recovery.

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“The reality for West Virginia and the rest of the country is that we need coal; we can’t meet our energy needs without it,” Rockefeller said in a Monday statement. “It is simply unrealistic to think that we can stop burning coal and shift to cleaner sources of energy instantly.”

Rockefeller said he sees his legislation as a way to preserve coal as an important energy source while reduce its harm to the environment. West Virginia is a coal-heavy state, and the mining industry fears that government efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions could harm its business.

Eileen Claussen, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, praised Rockefeller’s proposals.

“Carbon capture and storage is a critical technology to cut carbon emissions while coal and natural gas remain part of our energy mix,” Claussen said in a statement. “Providing incentives to capture CO2 for use in enhanced oil recovery will help bring more commercial-scale projects online, which will help advance carbon capture technology and lower costs.”