As a member of the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI), a coalition of labor, industry and the environmental community, the UWUA is supporting federal incentives for the commercial deployment of carbon capture, use and storage technology (CCUS) as an energy, economic and environmental priority for the nation.
The January start-up of NRG’s Petra Nova carbon capture project validates the need for such support as Americans now can see the first U.S. retrofit of a coal-fired power plant with carbon capture technology. Now the largest of its kind in the world, Petra Nova, located in Thompsons, TX, was constructed with federal support on time and on budget.
NEORI’s most immediate activity is seeking to expand the federal tax credit for carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration, called the 45Q tax credit. For over 40 years, the U.S. has led the world in CO2 enhanced oil recovery as a way to extract more oil from existing fields, safely store carbon dioxide underground, and reduce emissions.
The Union and NEORI are advocating for investment in CCUS technology as a way to:
• Protect and create high-paying jobs in energy production and other industries;
• Produce billions of barrels of American oil and store billions of tons of CO2;
• Enable continued use of our nation’s abundant oil, coal and natural gas resources;
• Reduce carbon emissions from power generation and industrial activities; and
• Develop the technology and grow a global industry for the nation.
In February, the unusual NEORI coalition of coal, heavy industry, environmental and labor groups, and other partners asked the House Ways and Means Committee leaders to extend and strengthen the 45Q credit for carbon capture technologies as part of any broader tax reform legislation.
“Due to long lead times for construction of such projects, the Section 45Q credit has, for practical purposes, already run out because the lack of financial certainty regarding the future availability of credits deters private investment in new commercial [carbon dioxide] capture projects,” the coalition wrote.
A stable, long-term incentive is essential because large, capital intensive CCUS projects take longer to develop, permit, finance and construct than smaller, less capital-intensive wind and solar projects.