Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33) Introduces SCALE Act to Create Jobs and Support Infrastructure to Reduce Emissions and Fight Climate Change
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33) introduced the “Storing CO2 and Lowering Emissions” or “SCALE” Act along with Congressman David McKinley (WV-01), Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), and Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08). The bill will support the buildout of the 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,” Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33) 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.”
“The development of storage infrastructure is a key component of supporting the deployment of carbon capture and utilization projects,” Congressman McKinley (WV-01) said. “The U.S. power sector alone generates nearly 2 billion tons of CO2 each year. For carbon capture to work, we need to have some place to put that. We will need pipelines to transport the CO2 to geologic storage or consumers who can use it. This legislation will help build that out.”
“The climate crisis provides us with an opportunity to utilize the wealth of resources rural America has to offer and create good good-paying jobs to grow the local economy,” Congresswoman Bustos (IL-17) said. “Through the SCALE Act, we can advance carbon capture technology and develop infrastructure to create a cleaner environment. I’m pleased introduce this bipartisan legislation today and will continue to look for ways to mobilize our region to meet the challenge of a changing climate”
“I’m proud to join my bipartisan colleagues in introducing The SCALE Act to help develop carbon capture technology. It’s crucial northern Minnesota and the rest of the country remains a global leader in mining, logging, manufacturing, and industrial development,” Congressman Stauber (MN-08) said. The SCALE Act helps us remain on top by supporting the buildout of the infrastructure necessary for carbon capture with a low-interest loan program, establishing a carbon capture pilot center, and building on an existing Department of Energy grant program. The bill will create high-quality union jobs, as projects that receive funding under the bill will be required to Buy American and will adhere to Davis-Bacon prevailing wages.”
CO2 transport and storage infrastructure forms a vital backbone to enable large-scale carbon capture deployment in time to achieve meaningful climate impacts. Without these 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 recently announced large investment in the development of connected infrastructure to collect CO2 from multiple capture sources and deliver it to shared CO2 storage sites. Unlike them, The US does not 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.
To address these problems, the SCALE Act would:
- Establish a Carbon-to-Value Research, Development, and Demonstration center, similar to existing carbon capture test centers, to support RD&D of things like advanced fuels, chemicals, and materials produced from carbon oxide emissions. It would also authorize the U.S. Department of Energy to provide grants to states and municipalities for procuring carbon utilization products for infrastructure projects.
- Create a new program called the CO2 Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (CIFIA) to provide low interest loans and grants for CO2 transport infrastructure, based on the successful, bipartisan TIFIA and WIFIA programs that finance highway and water infrastructure projects.
- Build upon the existing DOE CarbonSAFE program to provide cost share for deployment of commercial-scale saline geologic storage projects. It would give priority to geologic storage projects with larger storage capacities and those that will serve as hubs storing CO2 from multiple carbon capture facilities.
- Authorize increased funding to EPA for to thoroughly review permit applications in a timely manner for Class VI CO2 storage wells and provide grants for states to establish and operate their own Class VI permitting programs. These increased resources would ensure rigorous and efficient CO2 storage site permitting.
The SCALE Act is supported by a broad cross section of labor, environmental, and industry stakeholders. Some selected quotes of support:
“The SCALE Act takes an important step to support expanding critical carbon capture infrastructure,” said Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) President James Slevin. “If we’re going to have a shot at meeting the net zero emissions goals set forth by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we need more supportive measures like this.”
"Carbon capture is a key technology for maintaining good manufacturing jobs as the global economy decarbonizes to move towards the industry of the future,” said Roxanne Brown, Vice President at Large of the United Steel Workers. “The SCALE Act enables the buildout of CO2 transport and storage infrastructure, with Buy America requirements, that is necessary for large-scale deployment of carbon capture at industrial facilities across our vast country."
“Given the advanced state of the climate crisis, we need to do more than just reduce greenhouse gas emissions if we want a future where people and wildlife can thrive,” said Shannon Heyck-Williams, director of climate and energy policy at the National Wildlife Federation. “We also must capture emissions at their source, remove carbon from the air directly, use the captured carbon in innovative new products, and safely store this pollution in designated sites underground. Reps. McKinley and Veasey’s bill will allow the federal government — through coordination, loans, and grants — to help deploy the infrastructure needed to achieve these goals.”
“CATF commends Congressmen Veasey (D-TX) and McKinley (R-WV) for the introduction of the SCALE Act, and their bipartisan leadership on advancing carbon capture as a climate solution,” said Lee Beck, CCUS Policy Innovation Director at the Clean Air Task Force. CO2 infrastructure, including geologic saline storage and CO2 pipelines, forms an integral part of the infrastructure needed to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century. Investment in CO2 infrastructure is crucial to establish a carbon management market for industrial decarbonization and direct air capture, drive the development of saline geologic storage, and create regional economic opportunities. The sooner we can understand the needs of and plan for such net-zero infrastructure, the better we can optimize for cost and land-use impacts. With Europe, Norway, and the UK pouring billions into flagship CO2 infrastructure projects, the SCALE Act provides an opportunity to cement US technology leadership. The SCALE Act should be part of any infrastructure package moving in the next Congress.”