U.S. Senate passes USE IT Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On July 23, the U.S. Senate passed S. 383, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act – NDAA. 

According to a press release from the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) worked with Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who is a cosponsor of S. 383, to include the bill in NDAA. The Senate also advanced S. 747, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2019 as part of NDAA. The bipartisan legislation would re-authorize the DERA program through fiscal year 2024. The legislation is cosponsored by Barrasso. The National Defense Authorization Act passed the Senate 86 to 14.

“The best way to make American energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can, is through innovation, not government regulation,” Barrasso said . “The bipartisan USE IT Act and Diesel Emissions Reduction Act will do just that without raising costs for Americans. The bipartisan bills hold the key to significant carbon emissions reductions. The USE IT Act promotes the long term use of Wyoming’s natural resources, while helping America become energy dominant. I want to thank Chairman Inhofe for making the USE IT Act a priority. This is an important step toward having the legislation signed into law. The House should take up the bill immediately.”

In addition to Sen. Inhofe, there are 17 cosponsors of the USE IT Act including: Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), EPW Ranking Member Carper (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tina Smith (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Hoeven (R-ND), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Steve Daines (R-MT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Mike Braun (R-IN).

The USE IT Act supports carbon utilization and direct air capture research. This type of research is already taking place at research facilities like the Integrated Test Center outside of Gillette, Wyoming. The bill also supports federal, state, and non-governmental collaboration in the construction and development of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) facilities and carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines. 

The USE IT Act would:

· Narrowly amend the Clean Air Act to direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support carbon utilization and direct air capture research;

· Clarify that CCUS projects and CO2 pipelines are eligible for the streamlined permitting review process established by the FAST Act;

· Direct the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to establish guidance to expedite the development of CCUS facilities and CO2 pipelines;

· Establish task forces to hear input from affected stakeholders for updating and improving guidance over time.

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