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    US infrastructure bill earmarks $8.6bn for CCUS projects


Biden's administration views CCUS as a vital means of decarbonising US industry.

by: Joseph Murphy

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US infrastructure bill earmarks $8.6bn for CCUS projects

The US' $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill will set aside around $8.6bn for carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) initiatives, a copy of the draft legislation published on August 1 shows.

The 2,700-page bill, developed through months of negotiations, provides unprecedented support for CCUS, which Biden's administration views as a vital means of decarbonising US industry. Senators are currently voting on a series of amendments.

The current version of the bill gives the US Department of Energy (DoE) $100mn for engineering studies on CO2 transport infrastructure, and a further $2.1bn for low-interest loans and grants to cover cost of constructing this infrastructure between 2022 and 2026. The DoE will receive a further $2.5bn over five years to develop commercial large-scale CO2 storage projects, specifying the US offshore beyond the jurisdiction of states as the best location, and a grant programme will also be made for states and local governments to buy and use products produced from CO2, worth $310mn.

A further $3.5bn will go towards establishing regional hubs for direct air capture, each able to extra at least 1mn metric tons/year of CO2 from the atmosphere.

"By capturing and storing CO2 from polluting sources we can make real progress in tackling the climate crisis and moving towards a clean energy future," US secretary of energy Jennifer Granholm commented on August 4. "Carbon capture and storage is an important tool we need to decrease our carbon emissions and to reach our net-zero carbon emissions goal by 2050. And that is why the department of energy and the Biden administration are investing in carbon capture and storage projects across the country. And creating good-paying jobs in the process."

The sum might not satisfy the Carbon Capture Coalition and other partners seeking tax breaks for CCS. In an August 3 letter to legislators, they said a "targeted suite of carbon management policies" was an "essential component of any forthcoming legislative package.”

ExxonMobil earlier this year advanced the idea of a $100bn CCUS hub in the US Gulf area.