Granholm touts ‘really exciting’ provision in infrastructure bill at COP26
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm touted funding in the bipartisan infrastructure bill for direct-air capture demonstration projects, calling the provision “really exciting” during an address at the COP26 international climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on Friday.
While Granholm touted the Energy Department’s current work on carbon reduction, she said that “what’s really exciting is what’s being voted on today, I hope, in Congress, cross our fingers.”
Democratic leaders are hoping to hold House votes Friday on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a separate social spending and climate measure. The former would go straight to the White House for President Biden’s signature if it is approved, while the other bill must still get through the Senate.
“In the bipartisan infrastructure bill, there are a series of demonstration projects that have been funded by Congress, and if we get this vote today, it means that it’s passed the Senate and the House and the president can sign it into law,” she added. “That will mean that we will be able to put $3.5 billion dollars into direct-air capture demonstration projects in the United States. That’s huge. It will really give us an idea about where this technology is going.”
Friday’s vote is somewhat in doubt as a bloc of centrist Democrats have demanded a full Congressional Budget Office score on the packages before supporting them.
The $550 billion package, in addition to the $3.5 billion referenced by Granholm, includes $2.5 billion for carbon capture and storage projects. Direct-air capture differs from carbon-capture technology by removing carbon dioxide that has already been released from the atmosphere, whereas carbon capture prevents its release.
U.S. officials at the Glasgow climate summit have predominantly pointed to the reconciliation package as an essential piece of the puzzle in achieving U.S. climate goals, including Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Thursday.
That legislation still faces the potential hurdle of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in the upper chamber.