Carbon Capture Coalition releases policy blueprint

By Erin Voegele | March 01, 2021

The Carbon Capture Coalition on Feb. 24 released a national policy blueprint that includes near-term recommendations the group says policymakers should adopt in order to accelerate the deployment and commercialization of carbon capture projects.

The blueprint represents a consensus of the CCC’s more than 80 energy, industrial and technology companies, labor unions, and conservation, environmental, and clean energy organizations. Those groups include coalition participants Air Liquide, Alto Ingredients, Archer Daniels Midland Co., LanzaTech, National Famers Union, NRG Energy, Summit Agricultural Group, White Energy, along with coalition observers Algae Biomass Organization, Biomass Power Association, Growth Energy, and Renewable Fuels Association.

According to the CCC, the blueprint highlights an extensive suite of near-term recommendations for policymakers to adopt to maximize the impact of the 45Q tax credit, facilitate the buildout of CO2 transport and storage capacity, and increase federal investment in carbon management technologies, among others.

“Our Coalition works together in a bipartisan, consensus-based fashion to achieve a common goal: economywide deployment of carbon capture, removal, transport, utilization and storage to meet midcentury climate goals, foster domestic energy and industrial production, and provide jobs that consistently pay above prevailing wages,” said Great Plains Institute Vice President and Coalition Staff Director Brad Crabtree, who noted that this new set of policy recommendations expands upon the Coalition’s 2019 Federal Policy Blueprint released during the 116th Congress.

“This 2021 Federal Policy Blueprint outlines a comprehensive, ambitious and bipartisan federal policy agenda for carbon capture deployment and serves as a roadmap for Coalition engagement with federal policymakers,” Crabtree said.

The blueprint cites data from the Rhodium Group that shows carbon capture deployment at industrial facilities and power plants and deployment of associated carbon dioxide transport infrastructure in 21 states across the Midwest, Great Plains, Gulf Coast and Rockies regions can support an annual average of up to 68,000 project jobs and 35,800 ongoing operational jobs over a 15-year period while capturing 592 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The data shows that, along with the development of carbon dioxide transport infrastructure, this would generate up to $212.9 billion in private investment.  Each ethanol plant retrofitted with carbon capture technology is expected to generate 30 to 50 project jobs and five to 10 operations jobs.

Regarding the 45Q tax credit, the blueprint calls on Congress to enact a direct pay mechanism, a multi-year extension of the commence-construction window, and eliminate the annual thresholds in the 45Q statute. It also encourages lawmakers to make enhancements to the 45Q credit to fill remaining cost gaps by creating differentiated credit values for higher-cost technologies and establishing an alternative electricity production tax credit option for natural gas power generation with carbon capture, utilization and storage.

The CCC also asks policymakers to enact the SCALE Act, which would provide low interest loans and grants to cover a portion of the cost of common carrier carbon dioxide transport infrastructure development to partner with and enable private-sector investment.

The blueprint stresses the importance of ensuring timely permitting for geologic storage, and urges Congress to increase EPA funding to support state and federal permitting of Class VI wells; implement provisions included in the fiscal year 2021 omnibus bill that encourage federal, state, tribal and stakeholder coordination on the responsible permitting and siting of carbon dioxide transport and storage infrastructure; and direct federal agencies to identify and characterize suitable geological storage locations on federal lands and to facilitate the permitting of carbon dioxide storage at those vetted locations.

The blueprint makes several other recommendations aimed at enhancing and extending existing federal incentives to enable financing of carbon capture, direct air capture and utilization projects, including making carbon capture and direct air capture projects eligible for tax-exempt private activity and making carbon capture projects eligible for master limited partnerships (MLPs).

Additional information, including a full copy of the blueprint, is available on the Carbon Capture Coalition website