We haven’t heard much urgency about carbon capture and storage since cap and trade legislation to limit carbon emissions died in the Senate in July 2010.
But in preparing to write fresh legislation to promote its development, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is seeking ideas from a wide range of stakeholders.
The West Virginia Democrat sent a letter Aug. 3 to about 30 coal, utility, labor, environmental and analysis organizations that operate at the national scale asking for their thoughts on how now to move forward with carbon capture, use and storage, or CCUS.
“Technological development to reduce carbon emissions is critical to increasing our energy and economic security, reducing our environmental impact and securing the future of coal and other domestic resources,” Rockefeller wrote.
“I would appreciate your suggestions and ideas about the research targets, policies, and regulatory and financial incentives that are needed to fully develop the potential of CCUS and thereby secure tangible benefits for our environment and our economy,” he wrote.
This may be a good time, politically, for a renewed push for investment in CCUS, given newly energized talk of a carbon tax.
On the other hand, given that it will increase the cost of using coal at a time of persistent competition from inexpensive natural gas, it may be a particularly challenging time.
Now, as in 2010, the “regulatory and financial incentives” Rockefeller asks about are probably the tricky part.