Texas Democrat Rep. Marc Veasey joined Sen. Chris Coons (D-DL), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) in introducing a landmark bill on Wednesday which would support carbon capture infrastructure.
The bipartisan Storing CO2 And Lowering Emissions (SCALE) Act is the nation’s first comprehensive CO2 infrastructure bill. It would support infrastructure to transport CO2 from the sites of capture to locations where it can be either utilized in manufacturing or sequestered safely and securely underground. While governments in the United Kingdom, Norway, Australia, and Canada have recently announced large investment in the sector, the U.S. has lagged behind in its adoption of carbon capture technologies.
The availability of CO2 transport is necessary to drive investment in the sector. The SCALE Act would establish a Carbon-to-Value Research, Development, and Demonstration center, create the CO2 Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (CIFIA) and mobilize funding to maximize CO2 storage efficiency.
The lawmakers have pointed to the economic opportunities and potential for job growth and cited analysis by the Decarb America Project that puts job creation as high as 13,000 annually, not including those indirectly created through retrofitting energy-intensive facilities.
“Carbon Capture and the associated infrastructure is essential for the United States to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century,” stated Texas Rep. Veasey. “If we successfully deploy CO2 transport and storage infrastructure, we can help certain industrial sectors of our economy dramatically reduce their emissions while creating thousands of good jobs.”
Although still in its early stages, the legislation has attracted bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House, as well as a broad cross-section of labor, environmental, and industry stakeholders. As it stands, senators Tina Smith (D-MN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mike Braun (R-IN), Jon Tester (D-MT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Pete Stauber (R-MN), Terri Sewell (D-AL), and Liz Cheney (R-WY) stand in support of the act.