W.Va. Senators introduce bill to improve competitiveness, reduce emissions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), members of the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), along with Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), today introduced the bipartisan Clean Industrial Technology Act (CITA) to unleash innovation that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industrial sources and make American companies more competitive in the global economy. They were joined by U.S. Representatives Sean Casten (D-Ill.) and Aumua Amata (R-A.S.).

“It’s important that we continue to develop and advance legislative solutions that help protect and improve the environment while also supporting and encouraging economic growth and job creation. This bipartisan legislation is exactly that kind of solution,” Senator Capito said. “I’m proud to again join with Senator Whitehouse to build on our long record of bipartisan work on commonsense legislation that is good for both the environment and the economy, and I will continue to make the deployment of carbon capture technologies and other innovative tools a priority. Through these efforts, we can protect jobs, encourage American innovation and industrial competitiveness, and reduce our carbon emissions.”

“Industrial sources are responsible for a stubbornly large share of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.,” Senator Whitehouse said. “This legislation would unlock solutions to make American industrial companies more competitive internationally while reducing their carbon footprint. Broad bipartisan support for this bill from environmentalists and industry groups alike shows that we can find common ground on climate change.”

“Manufacturing and industrial processes are the backbone of the middle class and vital to communities in West Virginia and across the country. This bill engages those communities, industries, and workers directly in developing and demonstrating the climate solutions that will also secure the United States’ leadership on the global stage,” Senator Manchin said.

Around 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from hard-to-reduce industrial sources, including heavy road and rail transport, shipping, aviation, chemical production, steel and cement production, and heat production. There are few technologies that would substantially reduce emissions from these sources, and the limited existing solutions remain costly. Spurring innovation that could be adopted by these industries would create an economic advantage and export opportunities as countries around the world expand emission reduction policies.

Under CITA, the Department of Energy in coordination with the Office of Science and Technology Policy would establish a new advisory council to coordinate funding for developing innovative technologies for industrial processes. The council would work with other federal agencies, National Laboratories, industry, and higher education institutions to advance research and demonstration projects for reducing emissions in the industrial sector. The Department of Energy would also establish a technical assistance program to help states, local governments, and tribal organizations implement the low-carbon technologies.

CITA is supported by a broad range of industry and environmental groups—including the Environmental Defense Fund, Carbon180, Clean Air Task Force, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Third Way, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Natural Resources Defense Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Chemistry Council, and The Nature Conservancy.

“Manufacturers have always been about solutions,” said Rachel Jones, Senior Director of Energy and Resources Policy at NAM. “We need real-world technologies to address our global climate problem, and legislation like CITA provides a common sense opportunity to move our efforts forward. This bill takes a clear-eyed look at the unique challenges that different energy-intensive industries face as we all work toward ensuring a safer and more prosperous future.”

“We commend Senators Whitehouse, Capito, and Manchin for their leadership and cooperation on the Clean Industrial Technology Act,” said Christopher Guith, acting president of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute. “The bill’s establishment of an emissions-reduction technology program for the industrial sector will help to enhance America’s global competitiveness while reducing greenhouse gas emissions in an overlooked but important segment of our economy. The legislation reflects growing bipartisan support for durable climate action, and we look forward to securing its passage and enactment in this Congress.”

“The Nature Conservancy appreciates the leadership of the bipartisan group of Senators and members of the House of Representatives that have come together to introduce the Clean Industrial Technology Act,” said Kameran Onley, director of U.S. Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy. “This legislation will help spur the innovation needed to cut emissions from the industrial sector—one of the nation’s largest sources of carbon emissions. To address the urgent challenge of climate change, we must deploy all the tools at our disposal. The Conservancy welcomes this new proposal.”

“We commend Senators Whitehouse and Capito for introducing this smart, bipartisan legislation,” said Cal Dooley, president and CEO of American Chemistry Council. “Chemical companies are continually seeking ways to save energy and reduce emissions in our processes. This bill will deliver new innovations that enable additional emissions reductions in energy-intensive industries such as chemistry.”

“The science is clear that we must reach net zero CO2 emissions by mid-century to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. UCS applauds the introduction of the Clean Industrial Technology Act to reduce emissions from industrial sources that represent about 30% of our country’s emissions. Investing in low- and no-carbon technologies will drive innovation to get us where the science says we need to be, while simultaneously enhancing the country’s industrial competitiveness and creating new manufacturing jobs in the United States,” said Jeremy Richardson, senior energy analyst for Climate and Energy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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