Strange bedfellows urge Hatch, Wyden to reject CCS subsidies
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Green Scissors, a coalition of free market, taxpayer, and environmental groups, sent a letter to Finance Committee Chairman Orin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), calling on them to reject new tax credits for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).
As the July 15 deadline for reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approaches, there is once again an opportunity to exploit must-pass legislation as a vehicle for CCS subsidies. When a FAA bill was previously considered in April, Senator 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.
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.
“Taxpayers have already invested billions of dollars toward the development of CCS technology without significant achievements or meaningful results. Expanding tax incentives for CCS won’t solve these technology failures, but will continue a legacy of wasteful spending,” said Catrina Rorke, director of energy policy at the R Street Institute.
“Taxpayers have been stuck with the tab for these failed technology boondoggles. Billions of dollars later enough is enough,” said Autumn Hanna senior program director at Taxpayers for Common Sense. “With a $19 trillion debt the country cannot afford to extend the tax credit and throw more good money after bad.”
“This is a double-subsidy for oil and coal, plain and simple,” said Lukas Ross, climate and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “Letting this giveaway hitch a ride on the FAA bill is a win for polluters, not the climate.”
The Green Scissors coalition has consistently opposed subsidies for CCS on fiscal and environmental grounds. This includes stimulus funding for struggling facilities like FutureGen 2.0, Hydrogen Energy California, and the Texas Clean Energy Project, as well as ongoing efforts to extend and expand tax credits for capturing CO2.
Lukas Ross, (202) 222-0724, [email protected]
Catrina Rorke, (202) 525-5717, [email protected]
Autumn Hanna, (202) 546-8500, [email protected]
Communications contact: Kate Colwell, (202) 222-0744, [email protected]