Letter to Senate Leaders

C2ES President Bob Perciasepe is among 21 leaders of diverse companies, unions and environmental, energy and agricultural organizations who wrote to Senators Lamar Alexander and Dianne Feinstein on April 10, 2018, urging them to continue to robustly fund carbon capture in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget.

See the letter as a PDF

April 10, 2018

The Honorable Lamar Alexander
Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee
on Energy and Water Development
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee
on Energy and Water Development
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Feinstein:

As diverse companies, unions and environmental, energy and agricultural organizations working together to advance carbon capture deployment, we thank you for significant funding of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy in the recently enacted FY 2018 Omnibus. The U.S. has been a global leader on carbon capture, and there is bipartisan consensus on the benefits of capturing and utilizing carbon dioxide (CO2). This technology represents a genuine win-win for our nation’s economy and environment, one that will bring high-paying jobs and investment to energy-producing and industrial states and regions of our country.

Earlier this year, Congress made a critical first step in catalyzing a carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) industry in the U.S. through the enactment of the FUTURE Act to extend and expand the Section 45Q tax credits for CO2 storage and beneficial use. These credits will incentivize the implementation of carbon capture across industries and encourage the creation of new utilization markets for CO2 and its precursor carbon monoxide. However, today’s technology remains relatively expensive to implement in some industries like the power sector, and improved carbon capture technologies will be needed to reduce costs.

As we have seen with the success of wind and solar, carbon capture will need a combination of both federal incentives such as tax credits and federal funding for research, development and demonstration to become cost-competitive with other low and zero-emission technologies. Federal support must play a key role in helping the private sector to commercialize carbon capture technologies. It is well established that there are long lead times for advancing energy technologies from concept to demonstration to commercialization, and carbon capture is capital intensive, which increases financial risk and makes it difficult without federal support to attract sufficient private investment for scaling up these technologies in the marketplace.

Therefore, we respectfully request that DOE Fossil Energy’s CCUS program remain robustly funded for FY 2019 and that federal funding support not only basic research, but also readying technologies for development and testing at lab, pilot and demonstration scales. We also raise three points for further consideration.

First, we strongly support the focus on large-scale transformational pilot carbon capture projects and are pleased to see that Congress appropriated an additional $35 million for this program in FY 2018. The transformational technologies under development and moving forward with this funding represent an entirely new way to convert energy that will enable a step-change in performance, efficiency, and cost of electricity as compared to today’s state-of-the-art technologies. We hope the large-scale transformational pilot program will receive the funding necessary to advance these technologies in a final FY 2019 bill.

Second, loan guarantees can become an important tool to finance carbon capture projects. Key reforms to the program could make it more effective, includi ng lowering the overall level of fees, clarifying the calculation of credit subsidy fees, and lifting restrictions on loan guarantees for projects receiving federal grants. We recommend that the Loan Program Office be preserved in the final FY 2019 bill and that Congress take a closer look at improving the program’s effectiveness, particularly for carbon capture projects. We supportresponsible fiscal management and emphasize that, from a budgetary perspective, the Loan Program Office program pays for itself through application fees.
Third, we support the language included in the FY 2018 omnibus directing DOE to develop a cohesive strategy and supporting roadmap or long-term plan for the Fossil Energy Research and Development portfolio, including for the CCUS efforts under development in the program. We look forward to engaging in that exercise with DOE.

We respectfully urge you to continue to robustly fund carbon capture in the FY 2019 budget. We stand ready work with you and the DOE, and to provide any additional information you might need.
Thank you for your consideration of our requests.


Charlene Olivia Russell
Vice President Commercial Development
Occidental Petroleum


D. Michael Langford
National President
Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO


Shannon Angielski
Executive Director
Coal Utilization Research Council


Michael Flannigan
Senior Vice President, Global Government Affairs
Peabody Energy


Tracy Terry
Energy Project Director
Bipartisan Policy Center


Kurt Waltzer
Managing Director
Clean Air Task Force


Jennifer Holmgren, PhD
Chief Executive Officer


Cecile Conroy
Director, Government Affairs
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers


Richard R. Lancaster
Vice President and Chief Generation Officer
Great River Energy


Brad Markell
Executive Director
AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council


Josh Freed
Vice President for Clean Energy
Third Way


Noah Deich
Executive Director
Center for Carbon Removal


Richard Reavey
Vice President Public Affairs
Cloud Peak Energy


John W. Schultes
New Steel Internlational, Inc.


John Risch
National Legislative Director


Robert G. Mannes
President & C.E.O.
Core Energy, LLC


Scott McDonald
Biofuels Development Director
Project Director, IL-ICCS Project
Archer Daniels Midland Company


Dr. S. Julio Friedmann
Carbon Wrangler LLC


David Wendt
Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs


Bob Perciasepe
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions


Brad Crabtree
Vice President for Fossil Energy
Great Plains Institute