Rockefeller Kicks Off Effort to Increase Clean Coal Tech
The State Journal
20 September 2012
By Taylor Kuykendall, Reporter
Sen. Jay Rockefeller has announced an initiative to deal with the
challenge of reducing carbon emissions from coal-fired power
plants in the midst of the Republican-led House looking to thwart
attempts to regulate CO2 in a highly publicized floor vote this
In a news release from late Thursday, Rockefeller said he has
joined with Sens. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. to
incentivize development of technology to capture emitted carbon
"My focus remains on large-scale CCS deployment through
comprehensive clean coal technology legislation, and I'm looking
forward to working with all of my colleagues in moving clean coal
forward," Rockefeller said. "In addition to reforming these tax
credits, which I believe we can do in the near term, I also sent
letters last month to coal operators, industry groups, labor
organizations and environmental advocates asking for their ideas
about how to drive deployment of clean coal technology in the
The bill reconfigures a tax credit passed in 2008 and allows
companies to claim a credit of $20 per ton of carbon dioxide
captured when producing energy.
Rockefeller said through the news release that he was developing a
more comprehensive piece of legislation regarding CCS technology,
but that the tax credits he was introducing in the Senate were
"one important part" of the puzzle.
"We'll have to bring many components to bear in bringing Carbon
Capture Utilization and Sequestration to full deployment. This is
one piece of that puzzle," Rockefeller said. "I'm thankful that
Senators Conrad and Enzi are shining a spotlight on an issue
that's vitally important to West Virginia.
CCS technology would allow coal to continue to be a major force in
energy generation but without emitting carbon dioxide.
"We know that CCS is technically viable and can be a win-win-win,"
Rockefeller said. "It can secure a future for coal in a world
demanding cleaner sources of power. It can reduce harmful
emissions into our environment. And the CO2 capture can be used to
dramatically increase domestic oil production, through enhanced
oil recovery. We still need to show that it can all be brought
together at a large scale and continue investing in research to
bring down the costs."
So far, however, carbon capture has proven too expensive to be
viable for most companies.
According to Rockefeller's e-mail, the Conrad-Enzi bill amends
current law to provide assurances to companies that the tax credit
would no longer be available to them once construction of CCS