Heidi Heitkamp

03/12/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/12/2018 14:25

New International Energy Agency Report Shows Extensive Impact of Heitkamp Bill to Promote Carbon Capture Technology

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Energy Agency (IEA) today released a new analysis of U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp's bipartisan FUTURE Act, now signed into law, showing that the bill will have a key role in expanding the development and deployment of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technology, which paves a viable path forward for North Dakota coal and has broad impacts on the energy sector in a carbon constrained world.

'This new report shows why the FUTURE Act gained such broad bipartisan support - because carbon capture technology is an effective way to create more opportunity in the energy sector while addressing current environmental challenges,' Heitkamp said. 'This bill will jump-start the innovation needed to make sure North Dakota coal remains a viable source of jobs and energy for years to come, while also boosting production of other energy sources like oil and ethanol in a way that reduces carbon pollution. The success of North Dakota's economy depends an all-of-the-above energy strategy, and the FUTURE Act will play an important part in supporting jobs and growth in the industry for years to come.'

The report finds that Heitkamp's bill 'could trigger the largest surge in carbon capture investment of any policy instrument to date' and could lead to $1 billion in investment in the technology over the next six years, increasing total global carbon capture by around two thirds.

The bipartisan FUTURE Act, which Heitkamp introduced with U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and John Barrasso (R-WY) and was signed in to law in February, extends and expands the 45Q tax credit to provide certainty to utilities and other industrial sources, and incentivizes the build-out of industrial carbon capture projects that plan to use CO2and CO for enhanced oil recovery and carbon utilization-the conversion of carbon dioxide into useable products.

The bill supports maintaining a place in our energy mix for existing resources like coal and natural gas by encouraging development and use of CCUS technologies and processes. A wide cross-section of coal companies, utilities, environmental groups, and labor organizations support the bill, reinforcing a willingness from all sides to come together and seek bipartisan solutions. Click here for a list of supporters, and click here for statements of support from the diverse group of stakeholders. Click here for a timeline of Heitkamp's extensive work to forge a viable path forward for coal.

The 45Q provision is an integral part of the tax code for incentivizing carbon capture. Carbon capture cannot take off on a large scale unless there is federal support to encourage investment and implementation of the technology through tax credits and other mechanisms, which this bill would provide. The bill provides a crucial lifeline to coal miners by providing a pathway to maintain coal as a part of our diverse energy mix, doing so in a cleaner way, and reinforcing bipartisan support for standing up for these workers and their communities.

In addition to extending 45Q, the bill strengthens support for carbon capture technologies by increasing the 'commence construction' window for carbon capture projects from five to seven years and by increasing the number of years to claim the credits from 10 to 12 years.


Heitkamp's work to find a realistic path forward for coal builds on her more than a decade of experience on the board of directors of Dakota Gasification, the one-of-a-kind synfuels plant in Beulah, N.D. During her service as North Dakota's Tax Commissioner, on the North Dakota Industrial Commission, and as the state's Attorney General, Heitkamp was able to work on viable solutions to make sure coal remains a strong part of the North Dakota's energy mix. Click herefor a timeline of Heitkamp's extensive work to forge a viable path forward for coal.

Since joining the Senate, Heitkamp has worked to finding a realistic path for clean coal by:

  • Bringing together Democrats to urge strong CCUS funding, as president's budget proposed cuts: Last June, Heitkamp led a diverse group of 15 Democratic senators -including liberal and conservative lawmakers-in urging congressional appropriators to fund strong U.S. Department of Energy investments in carbon, capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies, which are key to coal's future. The president's budget threatened to cut funding for the U.S. Energy Department Office of Fossil Energy by 55 percent, including funding cuts of at least 84 percent to CCUS programs. Such cuts would significantly hinder the advancement of CCUS technologies, which North Dakota's rural electric co-ops, coal workers, and ratepayers rely on to support a path forward for coal-fired power through clean coal research and development.
  • Introducing major legislation in 2013 and 2015 to put coal on a viable path forward: Heitkamp's bill would incentivize companies to invest in technologies that reduce the carbon footprint of coal-fired power. This is done through federal funding programs, federal support for private investment, and recommendations to Congress that provide insight on how best to support future CCS projects in the U.S. In May 2015, Heitkamp and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia introduced a series of bills to make sure coal remains part of America's energy mix, incorporating Heitkamp's bill.
  • Convening industry, lawmakers, and academics to discuss path forward on coal: Heitkamp co-hosted a Coal Technology Symposium on Capitol Hill in 2014 that brought together industry, lawmakers, experts and academics - including the Energy and Environmental Research Center from Grand Forks. To a crowded room, Heitkamp laid out the importance of advancing realistic energy policies and discussed the vital role coal plays in providing affordable energy in North Dakota and around the country.