Scott Peter, D-Calif., and David Young, R-Iowa, introduced the bipartisan Carbon Utilization Act of 2018, which promotes biogas and carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS) technologies to increase biogas production as part of a diverse mix of energy sources, from natural gas to nuclear, to wind and solar, and even algae, to meet our future energy needs. Biogas is created from organic waste material from food, crops, livestock, and wastewater that is converted into carbon dioxide, methane or other carbon products.
The carbon dioxide or methane produced by the breakdown of those organic materials is captured using CCUS technologies, and then used as electricity, heat, or fuel—or even fertilizer or soil. This bill incentivizes the use of this innovative technology for farmers, ranchers, biotech, and small businesses by broadening USDA loan guarantees, rural development loans, and research programs to include CCUS technologies. The bill also promotes collaboration between government agencies and creates education programs highlighting carbon capture technology. Senators Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, introduced a similar bill in the Senate.
“The future of energy depends on innovation. In San Diego, our clean energy sector is capitalizing on new energy sources, like biogas, which produces more efficient energy and creates jobs in the process. Investing in carbon capture technology is an investment in the future of energy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil, cuts greenhouse gas emissions, and helps grow our economy. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and key industries to foster groundbreaking energy programs,” said Peters said. “Across Iowa, farms, ethanol and biodiesel plants, and other rural businesses hold the potential to help the United States become more energy independent by putting their byproducts to use. Carbon capture technology will help reduce the amount of harmful gasses in the air, bring us closer to energy independence, and continue to grow our economy. Working in a bipartisan way, we can increase investment in our rural communities and I look forward to working with Congressman Peters and my colleagues to advance this legislation,” said Young said.
“Algae and other emerging technologies are transforming carbon emissions from environmental challenge to economic opportunity. The Carbon Utilization Act recognizes the important role USDA can and must play in supporting farmers, small businesses, and rural utilities in the deployment of carbon capture and use and the development of value-added products from recycled carbon. ABO thanks Congressmen Peters and Young for their leadership in this important work,” said Matt Carr, executive director of Algae Biomass Organization.
“American prosperity benefits from a strong biogas industry. Just as biogas systems help our nation’s farms and rural economies, the Carbon Utilization Act, introduced by Congressmen Scott Peters (D-CA-52) and David Young (R-IA-03) will strengthen farming operations, increase sustainability and create new revenue streams to help protect family farm operations, especially during commodity price swings. Provisions which were similar to this bill were included in the Senate version of the Farm Bill. We remain very hopeful that the important policy will be incorporated into the final harmonized Farm Bill,” said Patrick Serfass, executive director of the American Biogas Council. “The Carbon Capture Coalition endorses the Carbon Utilization Act introduced in the U.S. House today by Rep. David Young, R-Iowa, and Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif.
The diverse industry, labor, environmental, agricultural and other participants in the Coalition welcome key provisions in this legislation that will expand the capture, beneficial use and geologic storage of CO2 in the production of renewable fuels, chemicals and biobased products, which will benefit agriculture, rural economies and communities while reducing carbon emissions. We support the efforts of Representatives Young and Peters to secure passage of this important legislation as part of the broader 2018 Farm Bill,” said Brad Crabtree, vice president for fossil energy at the Great Plains Institute and co-director of the Carbon Capture Coalition.