May 21, 2014

Kaine Supports Clean Coal Technology Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine signed on as a co-sponsor of the Advanced Clean Coal Technology Investment in Our Nation (ACCTION) Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp to stimulate large-scale federal and private sector investment to reduce carbon pollution through advanced clean coal technologies.

“I am proud to cosponsor the ACCTION Act because it recognizes that the solution to our energy and climate challenges is American innovation.  Coal is a reliable and abundant fuel source, yet one which generates significant carbon pollution.  The innovation challenge, therefore, is to get the same energy from coal with less pollution.  This bill tasks the Department of Energy’s brightest innovators with this challenge and provides incentives for the private sector to invest in developing and commercializing this technology,” said Kaine. “As Governor, I pushed for progress toward lower-carbon energy while being mindful of affordability and reliability, as well as impacts on coal-reliant communities.  I supported the permitting of the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center – a state-of-the-art coal plant in Southwest Virginia that is designed to accommodate eventual carbon capture and storage technology. As Senator, I will continue to support a balanced approach to addressing our energy needs that helps our nation generate energy cleaner tomorrow than we are today, without compromising reliability and affordability.”

The ACCTION Act incentivizes utilities to invest in technologies that reduce the carbon footprint of coal-fired power.  Incentives include the expansion of federal research and development at the U.S. Department of Energy and federal support for private investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. The legislation also establishes a presidentially-appointed advisory committee to report to Congress with recommendations on how best to support future CCS projects in the United States.

In January, Kaine successfully advocated Fossil Energy Research & Development funding that supports clean coal projects in the Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill.

The Advanced Clean Coal Technology Investment in Our Nation (ACCTION) Act includes the following provisions:

  • Develop large-scale carbon storage programs to support the commercial-scale application of enhanced oil recovery and geologic storage of carbon dioxide.
  • Increase the accessibility of funds in existing federal programs by 1) directing 25% ($2 billion) of the current U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Guarantee Program funding for fossil energy to go to coal projects, 2) enabling eligible projects to receive DOE loan guarantees even if they have received another source of federal assistance, and 3) streamlining the process for companies to receive federal funds for which they have qualified.
  • Revamp the existing R&D programs for advanced coal, and carbon capture and sequestration technologies by including transformational coal-related technologies, a cost share program, and incremental funding levels consistent with technology goals until 2035.
  • Increase the current tax credit for carbon sequestration from coal facilities to 30% and include polygeneration facilities among the possible eligible projects.
  • Create a variable price support for companies that capture CO2 to provide long-term certainty to the utilities that sell CO2 for enhanced oil and gas recovery, regardless of the price of oil.
  • Create clean energy coal bonds to provide tax credits for coal-powered facilities that sequester CO2 or meet efficiency targets relative to the current coal fleet.
  • Require reports to Congress from the DOE on the economic and technical status of CCS research and projects, including an evaluation of CCS projects online in Canada and a recommendation of how the U.S. could undertake similar projects with public-private collaboration. 

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