Commentary: U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) led the introduction of the bipartisan Coordinated Action to Capture Harmful (CATCH) Emissions Act to enhance the federal Section 45Q tax credit to commercialize and deploy much needed technologies to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century and create new, good-paying jobs across the United States. The bipartisan legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
The 2018 reform and expansion of the 45Q tax credit has led to the development of more than 40 publicly announced projects to capture and manage emissions from industrial facilities, power plants, and from ambient air through direct air capture. Recent analyses by the Rhodium Group show that deployment of carbon capture and direct air capture projects and associated CO2 transport infrastructure will generate tens to hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs.
The CATCH Act increases the 45Q credit value for carbon capture projects at industrial facilities and power plants to incentivize wider adoption. The legislation also eliminates the annual CO2 capture thresholds in the 45Q program to enable more facilities and industries to participate and qualify for the credit.
Eliminating the arbitrary thresholds would foster greater carbon capture, direct air capture and carbon utilization project development, technology innovation, and cost reductions across sectors, as the United States works to meet net-zero emissions targets. According to recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data, approximately 54 percent of power plants and 75 percent of industrial facilities fall below the current 45Q eligibility thresholds.
“The bipartisan CATCH Act will help the United States reach net-zero emissions while creating thousands of new, good-paying jobs. This bipartisan legislation will create a commercialization pathway for hard-to-decarbonize industrial facilities and spur the deployment of emissions-capturing technology at power plants, which will be critical to meet international climate goals,” said Luján. “ By eliminating the threshold, this legislation will provide access to credit for new technologies, including the growing hydrogen industry in New Mexico. I’m proud to introduce this legislation to help lead on climate and build a clean energy economy.”
“America is the world’s leader of carbon capture technology, and we want to keep it that way,” said Barrasso. “In Wyoming and across America, carbon capture and other clean energy sources create jobs and grow our economy. The 45Q tax credit is already helping to spur innovation in the coal industry and create new technologies that transform carbon emissions into a useful product. Our bipartisan CATCH Act builds on this success by increasing the credit value and making it easier for projects of all sizes to take advantage of this important tax credit.”
The CATCH Act is endorsed by 30 leading labor, environmental, and industry organizations:
“Accelerating the large-scale deployment of carbon capture, removal, utilization, transport and storage technologies is critical to meeting President Biden’s goals of reaching net-zero emissions in the power sector by 2035 and economywide by 2050. The increased credit values for carbon capture at industrial facilities and power plants offered in this bipartisan bill enable the deployment of these technologies on the scale necessary to reach our midcentury climate goals, preserve existing energy and industrial employment and create many new high-wage jobs that American families count on,” said Brad Markell, Executive Director of the Industrial Union Council, AFL-CIO. “Together with the inclusion of labor and domestic content standards, the provisions outlined in this bill will help put American industry firmly on the path toward deep emissions reductions, and continue to promote American technology leadership and economic competitiveness.”
“Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle recognize that policies to reduce emissions, including the use of carbon capture, and removal of atmospheric CO2 will be required to address climate change. Effective federal incentives for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and direct air capture (DAC) are critical to achieving our climate goals,” said Christina DeConcini, Director of Government Affairs for the World Resources Institute. “This legislation would be an important step in improving the efficacy and impact of the 45Q tax credit by eliminating project thresholds and increasing the credit value for carbon capture, utilization, and storage, which will be essential to decarbonizing the industrial sector, as a complement to efforts that would increase the credit value for DAC.”
"These amendments strengthen our collective vision of hydrogen as a necessary component of a sustainable future. Ensuring that all projects, big or small, can have access to increased credits will give us a leg up towards innovating and achieving our environmental goals in an economically sustainable pathway,” said Roxana Bekemohammadi, Executive Director of Western States Hydrogen Alliance.