CCUS Gets Administration Backing in New CEQ Report
Posted August 12, 2021
Expanding carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) has backing from the Biden administration, reflected in a new report to Congress from the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).
The report pledges the administration’s commitment to “accelerating the responsible development and deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and permanent sequestration as needed to decarbonize the U.S. economy by mid-century.”
We agree, because CCUS expansion will help industries across the economy – not just natural gas and oil – reduce emissions. Industries that rely on high heat or have process emissions, including cement and steel manufacturing, can benefit from CCUS. Check API’s Climate Action Framework to learn more about our industry’s support for CCUS.
Our key takeaways from the CEQ report include:
- CCUS has a critical role to play in decarbonizing the global economy, especially in hard-to-decarbonize industrial facilities where high temperatures are needed to drive activity and where there are process emissions from chemical reactions that don’t lend themselves to fuel switching.
- Carbon dioxide-carrying pipelines are critical to future nationwide deployment of CCUS.
- Key guidance documents and best practices have been developed by the federal government, industry and non-governmental organizations to move CCUS forward.
- Existing federal regulation is capable of managing permitting and review actions associated with CCUS projects.
In addition, the CEQ report identifies areas where clarification and improvements could be made to the existing regulatory framework to ensure that CCUS is responsibly scaled in a timely manner, consistent with climate goals. The report:
The Administration is therefore committed to accelerating the responsible development and deployment of CCUS to make it a widely available, increasingly cost-effective, and rapidly scalable climate solution across all industrial sectors.
CEQ said President Biden is committed to increasing support for CCUS research, development and deployment, including support for enhancing the 45Q tax incentive for CCUS projects. In Congress, CCUS has bipartisan support, as we noted here.
Indeed, fast-tracking commercial-scale deployment holds great promise for reducing emissions across the economy. The natural gas and oil industry has made expansion a top priority, because it enables significant carbon dioxide emissions reductions without threatening access to affordable, reliable energy. Yet, again, this is a technology that is useful for many other industries, not just our own.
The U.S. leads the world in deploying CCUS technology with a dozen commercial-scale, operating facilities. But, as the CEQ report noted, CCUS deployment must increase tenfold over the next decade for the U.S. to achieve its climate goals.
Amanda Eversole, API executive vice president and chief operating officer, spoke during a CCUS webinar last month:
“Climate change poses a major risk, and API and our member companies are poised to play a pivotal role in its solution. … CCUS puts long-awaited promises into practice. … [P]olicymakers and industry leaders share a vision for a lower-carbon future. Clearly, CCUS provides a major opportunity for the public and private sectors to come together.”
Though at the initial stages of deployment, CCUS is working. EPA reports that more than 8 million metric tons of CO2 were injected/stored in 2019, which is equal to the annual energy use of nearly 1 million homes or the annual emissions of two coal-fired power plants. Between 2016 and 2019, 25 million metric tons of CO2 were sequestered.
CCUS has forward momentum, with industry, government and science backing a technology that is critically important for protecting the environment. CEQ:
[T]here is growing scientific consensus that carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) will likely play an important role in decarbonization efforts globally; action in the United States can drive down technology costs, accelerating CCUS deployment around the world.
About The Author
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Previously, Mark was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor at an assortment of newspapers. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela have two grown children and six grandchildren.
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