Bipartisan Group of Senators Offer Tax Credit Changes Designed to Cut Amount of Carbon Sent into Atmosphere

WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/08/20]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and a bipartisan group of senators have introduced legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making tax credits that encourage carbon capture projects more available and easier to use.

The measure, the 45Q Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Tax Credit Amendments Act of 2020, was introduced recently by Sen. Smith and Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). It would reduce barriers to full utilization of the credit.

The bill would extend the tax credit to encourage more carbon capture projects and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also includes other modifications to make the credit more useful. Sen. Smith will push to bundle the legislation with other clean energy credits.  By passing a comprehensive clean energy tax credit package, we can help our economy recover from the current economic crisis while also moving us towards our climate goals, she said. 

“We need to do everything we can to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” said Sen. Smith. “Our bipartisan legislation, when coupled with extensions of other clean energy tax credits, will provide a win-win: good for our environment and good for our economy.”

“In the time since our bipartisan group of Senators came together to create the FUTURE Act—one of the most significant climate policies in U.S. history and certainly that with the most job creation and preservation potential—the economic situation in our country has completely changed,” said Sen. Capito. “Since that time, we have not rested on our laurels. Instead, we have continued to engage with our industry, environmental, and labor stakeholders to ensure that the regulatory guidance implemented congressional intent and to look at next steps on how to maximize the return on these taxpayer investments, especially as we recover economically from COVID-19. The 45Q CCUS Amendments Act reflects the targeted, consensus-based changes called for by our stakeholders. These small modifications, following the models of previous energy policies that are supported by members of both parties for now well-established industries, will make a big difference in putting American innovation to work growing our economy and combatting climate change in a responsible way, regardless of the current economic circumstances.”

“Our bipartisan FUTURE Act was a win for our climate and the promising new carbon capture technologies looking to gain a foothold in the market,” said Sen. Whitehouse. “This bill extends the credit for carbon capture, boosting technologies that remove carbon directly from the atmosphere and cutting carbon pollution at industrial facilities. I am pleased to continue this important bipartisan work with Senators Capito and Barrasso.”

“North Dakota is leading the way in the development of clean, reliable energy by investing and applying carbon capture and use technologies to our lignite, oil, and ethanol facilities. Our bill will allow our innovators to get the most out of the tax credits we created, incentivizing further investments and ultimately lowering emissions,” said Sen. Cramer. “I appreciate Senator Capito and Senator Whitehouse’s continued leadership on this issue and urge my colleagues to support our bipartisan legislation.” 

“This legislation would make the 45Q and 48A tax credits more accessible and benefit our coal producers, helping them to better take advantage of these critical revenue streams through the implementation of CCUS technology,” said Sen. Hoeven. “These tax credits are a central part of our efforts to ensure our nation can reduce emissions while continuing to harness its abundant coal resources, which provide the affordable and reliable power that homes and businesses rely on every day.” 

You can access full text of the bill here.

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