Bipartisan, Bicameral Group Introduce Nation’s First Comprehensive CO2 Infrastructure Bill

Mar 17, 2021
Press Release
Reps. Veasey & McKinley, Sens. Coons & Cassidy introduce landmark bill to boost carbon capture infrastructure – reducing emissions and creating more than 13,000 jobs per year

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Marc Veasey (D-TX) and David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.) and U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) introduced the “Storing CO2 and Lowering Emissions Act” known as the “SCALE” Act. The bill supports the development of infrastructure necessary to transport CO2 from where it is captured to where it can be utilized in manufacturing or safely and securely sequestered underground.

“Carbon Capture and the associated infrastructure is essential for the United States to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century,” Veasey said. “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.”

“Building out midstream and downstream infrastructure is a key component of supporting the deployment of carbon capture technologies,” said McKinley. “For carbon capture to work, we need to be able to transport it to geologic storage or customers who can use it. Through additional investments proposed in this bill, the U.S. can take significant steps towards reducing its carbon emissions by developing a program that will support the construction of CO2 pipelines across the country and create countless jobs.”  

Joining Reps. McKinley and Veasey as original cosponsors are Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Liz Cheney (R-WY), Pete Stauber (R-MN) and Terri Sewell (D-AL).

“To tackle the climate crisis we must mobilize the wealth of resources rural America has to offer, while creating good-paying jobs in our communities along the way,” said Bustos. “The SCALE Act creates the opportunity to advance carbon capture technology, develop infrastructure to create a cleaner environment and grow local economies. I’m pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation and work together to meet the challenge of a changing climate head-on.”

“Coal is a vital resource for Wyoming and for our nation. Through technological advancements that our state has championed, we know we can continue to expand its use as a clean and reliable tool to power our economy and support families. I’m proud to co-sponsor this bipartisan legislation that will help support the coal industry by advancing the availability and use of carbon capture. I will continue to fight to expand this technology in a way that benefits energy producers and protects the continued use of our state’s natural resources,” said Cheney.

“The SCALE Act will be key to developing the carbon capture infrastructure this country needs, while ensuring the resources used for pipelines and storage are sourced domestically. I’m pleased to introduce the SCALE Act with my bipartisan colleagues to promote infrastructure development and American jobs,” said Stauber.

“As we witness the dangerous consequences of rising carbon emissions on our environment and our health, it is critically important that Congress delivers innovative solutions to address our changing climate and environmental injustices,” said Sewell. “By investing in the deployment of carbon capture technology to reduce harmful emissions, this legislation will prioritize economic growth and foster job creation in Alabama and across the country.”

The Senate companion version to the SCALE Act was introduced by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) with Senators Tina Smith (D-MN.), John Hoeven (R-ND), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mike Braun (R-IN), Jon Tester (D-MT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) joining as original cosponsors.

“Carbon capture, utilization, and storage will play a critical role in meeting mid-century climate goals, supporting high-paying manufacturing jobs, and maintaining American competitiveness, but cost barriers currently stand in the way of its widespread deployment in the United States,” said Coons. “I’m working to advance the SCALE Act to build this crucial infrastructure that will help reduce industrial emissions and create thousands of high-wage jobs. Now is the time to invest in carbon capture, a promising technology with broad support.”

“If the world wants less carbon in the atmosphere while preserving jobs, the answer is sequestering carbon,” said Dr. Cassidy. “There is no better place in the world than Louisiana to sequester carbon. This bill supports that vision of lower carbon and creates jobs in Louisiana.”

The SCALE Act is endorsed by a broad coalition of labor, environmental, and industry stakeholders: Carbon Capture Coalition, Third Way, National Wildlife Federation, Growth Energy, Carbon Engineering, Clean Air Task Force, Occidental, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, Bipartisan Policy Center Action, Utility Workers Union of America, Carbon Utilization Research Council, Calpine, GE Gas Power, United Steelworkers, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), C2ES, Carbon180, The Nature Conservancy, and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

What they’re saying about the introduction of this bill can be found here.

 

Background:

Without carbon capture investments, the United States is at risk of losing innovation leadership. Governments in places like the European Union, United Kingdom, Norway, Australia, and Canada have previously announced large investments in the development of connected infrastructure to collect CO2 from multiple capture sources and delivers it to shared CO2 storage sites. The U.S. does not currently have a program or policy catalyzing investment in CO2 transport and storage infrastructure. This hinders the scale-up of carbon capture, removal, and storage of CO2 emissions.

The SCALE Act would:

Establish the CO2 Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (CIFIA) program, which will provide flexible, low-interest loans for CO2 transport infrastructure projects and grants for initial excess capacity on new infrastructure to facilitate future growth. Modeled after the existing TIFIA and WIFIA programs for highway and water infrastructure, CIFIA will help facilitate private sector investment in infrastructure critical for reaching net-zero emissions. The bill also includes grants for Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) studies for CO2 transport infrastructure.


Build upon the existing DOE CarbonSAFE program to provide cost sharing for deployment of commercial-scale saline geologic CO2 storage projects. The program would give priority to larger, commercial saline geologic storage projects that will serve as hubs for storing CO2 from multiple carbon capture facilities.


Authorize increased funding to EPA for permitting Class VI CO2 storage wells in saline geologic formations and providing grants for states to establish their own Class VI permitting programs to ensure rigorous and efficient CO2 geologic storage site permitting.


Provide grants to state and local governments for procuring CO2 utilization products and support state and local programs that create demand for materials, fuels, and other products made from captured carbon. The bill also adds the objective of developing standards and certifications for products that use CO2 to DOE’s carbon utilization program.

Read the full bill text here.