Bob Perciasepe’s letter to U.S. senators on the USE IT Act

C2ES president Bob Perciasepe wrote to Senators John Barrasso, Sheldon Whitehouse, Shelley Moore Capito, and Heidi Heitkamp on April 10, 2018, in support of the USE IT Act which supports research on use of carbon captured from electricity generation or industrial plants.

See the letter as a PDF

April 10, 2018

Senator John Barrasso
307 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
530 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Shelley Moore Capito
172 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Heidi Heitkamp
516 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Re: Encouraging American Innovation in Advanced Low-Carbon Technologies

Dear Senators Barrasso, Whitehouse, Capito, and Heitkamp:

As a former Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and recognizing that the sponsors agree to continue with bipartisan consensus going forward, I thank you for your leadership in introducing the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act (USE IT) Act. American innovation in advanced low-carbon technologies from carbon capture use and storage to nuclear energy to renewable energy is critically important to boost our economic growth and to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. From a business perspective, there will be markets for American advanced low-carbon technologies across the globe as other countries continue to expand their efforts to reduce carbon emissions to address climate change.

The USE IT Act supports research on carbon utilization. I believe that transforming captured carbon emissions from a liability into a valuable commodity will be a powerful way to align our economic incentives with our environmental goals. Federal support for research on carbon utilization should focus on three areas: reducing technology costs and increasing the number of technology options; conducting lifecycle analysis to ensure that over time the focus is on permanently storing more of the carbon; and identifying how to scale up these options to meet climate goals. The legislation would also support research on direct air capture; this important technology has the potential to result in “negative emissions” and may help us achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement which include net zero emissions in the second half of this century. Reducing the costs of direct air capture technology and developing business models for its deployment are important research priorities.

On behalf of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, I thank you again for your leadership and I encourage you and your colleagues to enact the USE IT Act — and its research and development incentives for carbon capture technology — to open the door that can accelerate American innovation.




Bob Perciasepe
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions