A landmark bill has been introduced in the US to boost carbon capture infrastructure.

US Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) and US Representatives Marc Veasey (D-Texas) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) yesterday (17th March) unveiled the Storing CO2 and Lower Emissions (SCALE) Act.

Set to provide the federal support needed to kick-start a CO2 transport and storage infrastructure build-out over the next decade, the SCALE Act has ambitious targets to “get the US back on track”.

Thought to create more than 13,000 jobs per year, the bill will help develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure as a critical means of reducing emissions of CO2, while creating regional economic opportunities.

To support both carbon capture technologies and job growth, the SCALE Act will:

  • Establish the CO2 Infrastructure Finance and Innovation ACT (CIFIA) program
  • Build upon the existing Department of Energy (DOE) CarbonSAFE program
  • Authorise increased funding to EPA for permitting Class VI CO2 storage wells
  • Provide grants to state and local governments for procuring CO2 utilisation products

Commenting on the bill, Senator Coons, Co-Chair of the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, said, “Carbon capture, utilisation, and storage will play a critical role in meeting mid-century climate goals, supporting high-paying manufacturing jobs, and maintaining American competitiveness, but cost barriers currently stand in the way of its widespread deployment in the US.” 

“I’m working to advance the SCALE Act to build this crucial infrastructure that will help reduce industrial emissions and create thousands of high-wage jobs. Now is the time to invest in carbon capture, a promising technology with broad support.”

US Senator Joe Manchin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, added, “Advancing legislation that enables wide-scale deployment of CCUS technologies must continue to be a priority.”

“The SCALE Act does just that by complementing and building on the nearly $6bn for CCUS research, development, deployment, and commercialisation I secured in the Energy Act of 2020.”

“This bill will enhance the entire CCUS value chain by incentivising the buildout of CO2 pipeline and storage infrastructure, providing a critical link for CO2 sequestration and end-use markets.”

“Measures like these will push our clean energy objectives forward while supporting thousands of clean energy, infrastructure and manufacturing jobs across the country, including in traditional energy producing communities like those in West Virginia.”