Green Scissors group opposes CCS funding in FAA bill

The organization Green Scissors has asked the Senate Finance Committee not to include funding for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) in a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill “or any future legislation.”

Green Scissors outlined its position in a June 21 letter to Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Green Scissors describes itself as seeking to cut “wasteful and environmentally harmful spending.” The group says that as the July 15 deadline for reauthorization approaches, the must-pass legislation is being used as a vehicle for CCS subsidies.

When a FAA bill was previously considered in April, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) pushed unsuccessfully for an amendment to extend and expand tax credits for CCS–and there is no indication that this strategy is changing, the Green Scissors group said in a news release.

Originally passed as part of the 2008 bailout, current policy allows for a $20 tax credit for every metric ton of CO2 captured and stored underground and $10 for every metric ton captured and used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

Never intending the measure to be permanent, Congress timed it to expire after 75 million credits had been issued. If it is re-introduced, the Heitkamp amendment would raise the value of the credit for both EOR and underground storage to $30 for new facilities, Green Scissors said.

“After more than a decade of federal subsidies, CCS is a failed investment of our tax dollars and a failed attempt to limit the carbon emissions from burning coal,” Green Scissors said in the letter.

“Despite billions in research funding, grants and tax incentives, the government’s CCS endeavor is a graveyard of defunct facilities, including FutureGen 2.0, Hydrogen Energy California and, perhaps very soon, the Texas Clean Energy Project,” Green Scissors said.

“Over the next decade, the current version of the CCS tax credit is expected to cost $530 million. Expanding it is neither a solution to climate change nor a responsible use of our tax dollars,” the group said.

In addition to Green Scissors, other organizations signing onto the letter include Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and The R Street Institute.

The FAA Reauthorization Act (S.2658) reauthorizes through FY2017 the FAA and specified FAA programs.

www.foe.org/news/news-releases/2016-06-strange-bedfellows-urge-hatch-wyden-to-reject-ccs-subsidies

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.