U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller introduces clean coal legislation - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller introduces clean coal legislation

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller unveiled an initiative to advance the commercial deployment of clean coal technologies.

On May 5, Rockefeller introduced two bills in the U.S. Senate:

The Carbon Capture and Sequestration Deployment Act of 2014 seeks to facilitate the development and commercial deployment of Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) technologies. The Expanding Carbon Capture through Enhanced Oil Recovery Act of 2014 is an innovative approach to providing tax credits for CCS deployment. It would expand and reform the existing Section 45Q Tax Credit for Carbon Sequestration to advance capture technology through the greater use of carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) in the United States.

A decades-old, proven commercial practice, CO2-EOR involves injecting CO2 into already developed oil fields to coax additional production. According to the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), increasing the supply of CO2 captured from man-made sources has the potential to increase American oil production by tens of billions of barrels, while safely storing billions of tons of CO2 underground.

Rockefeller said the bills would invest in federal carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) research and development; expand tax credits for innovative companies investing in CCS technologies; create loan guarantees for construction of new CCS facilities and retrofits of existing facilities that utilize CCS, among other provisions.

“The reality for West Virginia and the rest of the country is that we need coal; we can’t meet our energy needs without it,” Rockefeller said. “It is simply unrealistic to think that we can stop burning coal and shift to cleaner sources of energy instantly. And it is equally unrealistic to think that coal is as clean as it could be, or that it will be around forever. Either way, we have to prepare for the future.

“Innovation is at the very heart of the American ideal,” Rockefeller added. “We’re a country that dreams big dreams. We put a man on the moon. We cured polio. At every turn, when faced with a challenge, we’ve overcome it.”

Rockefeller said the Mountain State is facing of it’s biggest challenges — how to continue to support one of the bedrock industries while also protecting clean air and water for the future.

“The bills I introduced today are designed to create an environment where we can succeed in meeting that challenge,” he said. “I know we have the commitment and capacity to succeed.”