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Why The U.S. Senate Is Looking To Support Carbon Capture And Storage

Two bipartisan bills introduced in the U.S. Senate aim to support carbon capture and storage technologies as part of a drive to reduce emissions.

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators and Representatives introduced the ‘Storing CO2 And Lowering Emissions (SCALE) Act,’ aimed at helping U.S. firms to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure as a way to cut carbon dioxide emissions and create jobs and regional economic opportunities.  

“Carbon capture will play a critical role in reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, and the availability of CO2 transport infrastructure is necessary to drive investments in carbon capture technologies,” U.S. Senators including Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), said.

The other bill, the Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Tax Credit Amendments Act, was introduced last week, and extends the window for projects to begin construction and qualify for the 45Q tax credit by another five years to end-2030. It also raises the 45Q credit value from $50 to $120 per metric ton for direct air capture facilities that capture and securely store CO2 in saline geologic formations. The bill increases the credit value from $35 to $75 per ton for such facilities that store captured CO2 in oil and gas fields, or for beneficial utilization as fuels, chemicals, and useful products.

U.S. oil and gas majors Exxon, Chevron, and Occidental plan increased investments in carbon capture projects and technologies in the coming years in their latest strategy updates.

Exxon outlined plans to boost its development of carbon capture and hydrogen technologies, saying it is “positioned to succeed” in those two areas. Chevron will invest more in low-carbon technologies such as hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization, and storage, it said in its plan to “Deliver Higher Returns, Lower Carbon.”

Occidental is transitioning towards a future as a “carbon management company,” CEO Vicki Hollub said in a conversation with IHS Markit Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin for the CERAWeek Conversations late last year.

Occidental also became the first major U.S. oil company to announce an ambition to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions associated with the use of its products by 2050.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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