Bustos Helps Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Boost Ethanol Production and Combat Climate Change

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) helped introduce the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act. This bipartisan legislation would implement strategies that help ethanol producers develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. Specifically, USE IT simplifies the permitting process for the construction of carbon dioxide pipelines which are needed to transport carbon dioxide captured in the refining process to locations where it can either be buried 7,000 feet underground or turned into valuable products such as plastics, chemicals, cement and jet fuel. CCS technologies that reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere are key tools in the fight against climate change. The USE IT Act is an important first step to enable ethanol producers to capitalize on the 45Q tax credits, which incentivize the deployment of CCS technologies.

“With a struggling farm economy and changing weather patterns, we need to do everything we can to help our agricultural producers succeed and aggressively tackle this climate crisis,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Carbon capture, storage and utilization is a largely untapped financial opportunity for our Illinois ethanol producers, and this common-sense, bipartisan bill is an important first step to help them remain successful and make our all-American, homegrown energy cleaner. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I’ll continue working across the aisle to support our producers, grow the economy in rural areas and address climate change threats that impact livelihoods in the Heartland.”

“Some in the ethanol industry, including our company, are investigating ways to capitalize on new carbon capture and sequestration technologies and we see great potential synergies between ethanol and CCS,” said Neil Koehler, CEO of Pacific Ethanol in Pekin, Illinois. “We appreciate the leadership of Congresswoman Bustos on this issue and many others and look forward to working with her.”

BACKGROUND

In 2018, Congresswoman Bustos first helped introduce this bill with Reps. Scott Peters (CA-52), David McKinley (WV-01) and Marc Veasey (TX-33). This year, Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-06) joins as a co-lead. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced an identical bill in the Senate.

The bill is supported by the Carbon Capture Coalition, Bipartisan Policy Center Action, Carbon180, Carbon Wrangler, Clean Air Task Force, ClearPath Action, the Nature Conservancy, Third Way, the Utility Workers Union of America, and others.

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