Paul D. Tonko

10/23/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/23/2020 16:34

Tonko Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Remove CO2 from Atmosphere

AMSTERDAM, NY-Representatives Paul D. Tonko (D-NY),Annie Kuster (D-NH), David McKinley (R-WV), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Scott Peters (D-CA), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ), and David Schweikert (R-AZ) today introduced the Carbon Removal, Efficient Agencies, Technology Expertise (CREATE) Act. The bipartisan legislation invests in carbon dioxide (CO2) removal technology to reduce pollution from the atmosphere and help to mitigate climate change.

'The fires, floods and hurricanes that are raging across our nation make clear that climate change is not a future problem, but an urgent threat that is devastating our infrastructure, economy and the lives of millions of Americans,' Congressman Tonko said. 'We need to use every tool possible to rise to this challenge, and carbon dioxide removal must be part of this comprehensive approach. The CREATE Act delivers that needed federal coordination in research and development of technologies and techniques that can reduce and remove carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere. I am proud to join my colleagues in cosponsoring this vital legislation.'

'Climate change is an existential threat to our national security, our society, and the future of our planet,' said Rep. Kuster, the bill's primary sponsor. 'In order to prevent the worst effects, we must dramatically reduce the carbon in our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technology has the potential to help achieve this goal and the government should vigorously pursue it. I am excited to advance this legislation as part of my larger clean energy agenda to curb climate change and help us transition to a clean energy economy.'

According to the 2019 United Nations Emissions Gap Report, reducing future carbon emissions alone cannot prevent global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius. Reducing the current level of CO2 in the atmosphere has been identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as an important strategy to prevent climate change and mitigate its impacts.

Carbon Removal, Efficient Agencies, Technology Expertise (CREATE) Act would:

  • Establish a new Large-Scale Carbon Management program, comprised of representative of DOE, USDA, DoD, and NOAA, to develop a whole of government approach to research, develop and demonstrate CDR technology.
  • Authorize four working groups within the Large-Scale Carbon Management program to pursue the CDR research and development initiative across ten federal agencies and 27 offices.
  • Direct the working groups to focus on carbon removal in the oceans, atmosphere, and land using both natural and technological approaches to ensure all pathways for CDR are rigorously explored.

The CREATE Act has companion legislation in the U.S. Senate introduced by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).