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Bipartisan senators want 'highest possible' funding for carbon capture technology

A bipartisan group of senators is pushing for funding at the "highest possible levels" for carbon capture technology development.

The 12 lawmakers, including four Republicans, urged Senate appropriators to provide the Department of Energy with maximum funding for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).

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“As the world transitions towards a carbon constrained economy, investment in CCUS technology will spur economic development and ensure energy security while protecting the environment from carbon dioxide emissions and maintaining global leadership role in research and development,” the lawmakers wrote Thursday in letter to the top senators on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.

The letter was signed by Sens. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate passes long-delayed China bill OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm Republicans grill Biden public lands agency pick over finances, advocacy MORE (R-Wyo.), Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetSenate panel advances nominations for key Treasury positions Democrats blast Biden climate adviser over infrastructure remarks Colorado lawmakers invite Harris to tour state's space industry MORE (D-Colo.), Christopher CoonsChris Andrew CoonsOvernight Defense: Pentagon details military construction projects getting .2B restored from wall funds | Biden chooses former commander to lead Navy | Bill seeks to boost visa program for Afghans who helped US Bipartisan senators introduce bill to protect small businesses from cyberattacks China conducts amphibious landing drill near Taiwan after senators' visit MORE (D-Del.), Kevin CramerKevin John CramerTrump dismisses climate change, calls on Biden to fire joint chiefs Putin says Nord Stream 2 pipeline nearing completion Overnight Defense: Senate confirms Army secretary after snafu | Afghanistan withdrawal 'slightly' ahead of schedule MORE (R-N.D.), Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesCompany officially nixes Keystone XL pipeline OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm Republicans grill Biden public lands agency pick over finances, advocacy MORE (R-Mont.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthChina conducts amphibious landing drill near Taiwan after senators' visit US, Taiwan to discuss trade, investments, Blinken says Chinese state media rip senators' stop in Taiwan: 'A treacherous move' MORE (D-Ill.), Cory GardnerCory GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 MORE (R-Colo.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Pentagon details military construction projects getting .2B restored from wall funds | Biden chooses former commander to lead Navy | Bill seeks to boost visa program for Afghans who helped US Cotton, Pentagon chief tangle over diversity training in military Democrats try to pin down Manchin on voting rights MORE (D-Va.), Angus KingAngus KingSenior Biden cyber nominees sail through Senate hearing Pentagon chief: Military has already started 'over-the-horizon' operations in Afghanistan Pavlich: Democrat senators must oppose Chipman's ATF nomination MORE (I-Maine), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinWhy the Democrats need Joe Manchin Simmering Democratic tensions show signs of boiling over Out-of-touch Democrats running scared of progressives MORE (D-W.Va.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterAntsy Democrats warn of infrastructure time crunch Bipartisan Senate group announces infrastructure deal 'The era of bipartisanship is over': Senate hits rough patch MORE (D-Mont.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOn The Money: Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal, warn of time crunch Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden mission abroad: reward friends, constrain adversaries MORE (D-R.I.).

They argued that investment in creating viable options to capture carbon emissions released into the atmosphere could spur U.S. job growth.

“According to the International Energy Agency and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), CCUS is a critical component of the portfolio of energy technologies needed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions worldwide,” the senators wrote. “As the U.S. develops CCUS technologies, we will benefit not only from cleaner power here at home, but from new markets for U.S. technologies abroad, including innovations towards direct air capture.”

The two federal programs that include carbon capture research received $101 million and $98 million in funding, respectively, for fiscal year 2019. President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE's budget request for 2020 calls for combining the two programs into one, funded at $69 million.

The senators said in their letter that the two programs should not be combined.

Carbon capture technology investment has emerged as a rare bipartisan issue when it comes to climate change. While GOP senators have long resisted efforts by progressives to transition the country away from fossil fuels, some have embraced the idea of carbon capture as an alternative.

Congress last year passed legislation that expanded carbon sequestration tax credits to companies.

The technology, however, remains in its early stages and hasn't been widely adopted, due in large part to its implementation cost. That's why lawmakers are calling for more federal funding.

“Like the wind and solar industries, a combination of federal incentives such as tax credits and federal funding for research, development and demonstration, will be needed to improve the technology so that it can be cost-competitive with other forms of low CO2 emitting technologies,” the 12 senators wrote, adding that the U.S. “is in a position to be a global leader” on carbon capture technology.