Enzi: Innovation in carbon capture technology can support American energy

Press Release – Section 45Q does not refer to a spy agency. It’s not the name of a sports car. It’s far less flashy than either of these things, but U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., believes it could go a long way toward keeping energy affordable in this country and addressing environmental concerns.
Section 45Q is actually an important part of the U.S. tax code that encourages businesses to capture CO2 and use it for other beneficial uses or store it safely away in the ground. This week at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on energy tax policy, Enzi talked about the importance of expanding the tax benefit to encourage more private innovation and investment for carbon capture projects at power plants and industrial facilities, especially those that include coal as part of their energy portfolio.
In Wyoming, companies have already been taking advantage of an energy tax incentive by injecting CO2 into oil wells in order to get more oil out of the ground. By expanding the Section 45Q tax benefit, Enzi said innovators could find the solutions needed to ensure that traditional energy sources, such as coal, can stay competitive.
“There are solutions out there but we aren’t doing much for them,” Enzi said. “Folks in Wyoming know you have to be willing to invest in technology innovation in order to create a more sustainable future for coal.”
The Wyoming state government has already allocated $15 million to collaborate with private industry to build an integrated test center to study the capture, sequestration and management of carbon emissions from a Wyoming coal fired power plant. Teams will compete at the center to turn the largest amount of carbon into the greatest economic product.
The future of carbon capture is going to need more technological advancement as the world is going to use more and more coal, and that technological leader can be the United States if we get the innovation we need, according to Karen Harbert, President And CEO of the Institute For 21st Century Energy, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a witness at the hearing.
“The future of all of this lies at the base of technology,” Harbert said. “If we can be the leader in technology, deploy this technology around the world, we would really be leading in solutions.”