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Bipartisan carbon capture bill would extend 45Q tax credit to all power plants

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced a bill to amend the 45Q tax credit for carbon capture projects, increasing credit values for power plants and allowing all facilities to qualify for such tax benefits.

The Coordinated Action to Capture Harmful, or CATCH, Emissions Act would provide industrial facilities and power plants $85/t of captured carbon permanently stored in saline geologic formations and $60/t for companies that store the gas after using it to extract fuel from oil and natural gas fields, according to a May 25 release.

The tax credit currently provides up to $50/t for captured carbon stored in secure geologic sites and $35/t of gas stored after being used in enhanced oil recovery.

If passed, the bill would also scrap annual carbon dioxide capture thresholds, allowing all power plants, industrial facilities, and future direct air capture operations to take advantage of the credit, according to the release. In 2019, the majority of power generators and industrial facilities did not qualify for the credit due to such thresholds.

The bill's cosponsors touted the proposal as a way to spur clean energy innovation and reduce greenhouse gases.

"This is a pivotal time in this country to address the existential climate crisis, and we must take an active role in meeting the moment," U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who co-sponsored the bill, said. "That means leveraging the might of the U.S. government and the ingenuity and strength of American businesses to meaningfully lower U.S. emissions."

Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., another co-sponsor, called on the federal government to do "everything we can to encourage innovation and develop clean energy technologies like carbon capture."

"The 45Q tax credit is the single most useful tool in spurring the development of carbon capture projects," McKinley said. "This bill will lead to more projects and more widespread adoption, which is critical to reduce emissions and preserve the future of coal and natural gas."