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Rockefeller introduces ‘carbon capture’ bills

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two bills designed to advance the commercial deployment of clean coal technologies were introduced Monday in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., introduced two bills — the Carbon Capture and Sequestration Deployment Act of 2014 and the Expanding Carbon Capture through Enhanced Oil Recovery Act of 2014 — that 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.

“Today, West Virginia is facing one of its biggest challenges: how do we continue to support one of our bedrock industries, while protecting our clean air and water for future generations? The bills I introduced today are designed to create an environment where we can succeed in meeting that challenge,” Rockefeller said. “And I know we have the commitment and capacity to succeed.”

Bill Raney, president of West Virginia Coal Association, said the idea of carbon storage was theoretically good, but issues still need to be addressed. A plant in Kemper, Miss., has had cost overruns that are triple above its original cost.

“While the technology sounds awfully good, it’s simply not commercially available at this point,” he said. “And all of it comes back on the backs of the consumers…

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