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More than 160 labor unions, NGOs, and companies urge Congress to prioritize policies to scale carbon management  

August 3, 2021 Work Area: Carbon Capture

Washington, DC – Today, more than 160 companies, labor unions, conservation and environmental groups, and companies from around the U.S. sent a letter to Congressional leaders, urging the inclusion of a comprehensive suite of bipartisan carbon management policies in any larger legislative vehicle this Congress.

The letter outlines the importance of a portfolio of complementary policy priorities to expand and accelerate deployment of carbon capture, which leading agencies and experts agree is critical to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. In addition to reducing emissions, U.S. carbon capture deployment would create and retain highly-skilled jobs that pay family-sustaining wages and spur investment in domestic energy, industry and manufacturing.

“The science is clear,” said Lee Beck, International Director of Carbon Capture at Clean Air Task Force. “Carbon capture is a crucial piece of the decarbonization puzzle, and we’re proud to stand with more than 160 diverse stakeholders who understand its important role and who are making sure Congressional leaders understand it, too.” 

The letter represents the latest example of growing momentum in favor of carbon management policies that would help deploy carbon capture, removal, and storage at scale. Signatories include environmental and conservation organizations like Clean Air Task Force, The Nature Conservancy, and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions labor organizations like AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers, and the Utility Workers Union of America; and companies like Xcel Energy and LeHigh Hanson.

This suite of policies, all of which have been introduced in strongly supported, broadly bipartisan legislation, include: 

  • providing a direct pay option for the federal Section 45Q tax credit;  
  • extending the commence construction window for the 45Q credit;  
  • enhancing 45Q credit values for industrial and power plant carbon capture and direct air capture;  
  • eliminating annual carbon capture thresholds that deter innovation;  
  • financing the buildout of regional CO2 transport and storage networks; and 
  • ensuring robust funding for commercial scale carbon capture pilot projects and demonstration programs. 

The letter points to the expansion and acceleration of carbon management technologies as not only essential to meeting U.S. climate goals, but critical to continued American technology leadership, as well as important to secure the future of domestic energy, industrial and manufacturing sectors and the high-wage jobs that that come with them. Recent analyses by the Rhodium Group show that deployment of carbon capture and direct air capture projects and associated CO2 transport infrastructure have the potential to generate tens to hundreds of thousands of jobs paying above average wages.

The bipartisan infrastructure package that is making its way through Congress includes several key items of support for critical carbon management technologies, including funding from the Energy Act, the SCALE Act, and funding for energy hubs.

Beck continued:

“We’re thrilled that lawmakers have taken the first steps to supporting the build-out of carbon management infrastructure by including the SCALE Act in the infrastructure package, which would enable carbon capture deployment at scale, and pairing it with demo and DAC hub funding for more carbon capture facilities. Now, it’s time for them to push through to the finish, with key enhancements to 45Q and other supportive policies that would position the U.S. to lead on carbon capture, removal, and storage– keeping climate goals within reach, maintaining and creating thousands of good-paying jobs, and charting a path that other countries around the world can follow.”

Read the full letter and see the list of signatories at https://www.scalingcarbonmanagement.com/ 

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