June 6, 2018

Carbon Utilization Act Introduced Ahead of Farm Bill

Legislation would harness USDA loan program to boost CCUS and biogas

Washington, DC – Ahead of introduction of the Senate Farm Bill, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joined Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) to introduce the Carbon Utilization Act, to allow emerging carbon utilization technologies, such as carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) and biogas production, to access U.S. Department of Agriculture loan guarantees, research programs, and rural development loans.  The bill also would create education programs and encourage interagency collaboration to advance these technologies.

“Experts agree that transforming carbon pollution into something useful ought to be part of our fight against climate change.  That’s why we need to help promising carbon capture technologies compete in new markets, like on farms and at other rural businesses,” said Whitehouse.  “This bill will help those technologies find new uses in agriculture while reducing carbon pollution, benefiting both our climate and the rural economy.  That’s a clear win-win.”

Farming and clean energy advocates cheered introduction of the Bennet-Whitehouse bill.

“Farm bill energy programs help family farmers and ranchers improve their efficiency, lower their input costs, and access new revenue streams. These programs are also valuable tools in mitigating climate change, which poses significant and growing challenges for family farm operations. We applaud Senator Bennet for introducing this bill, which will leverage Energy Title programs to promote carbon capture and utilization,” said National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson.

“Algae and other emerging technologies are transforming carbon emissions from environmental challenge to economic opportunity. The Carbon Utilization Act recognizes the important role USDA can and must play in supporting farmers, small businesses, and rural utilities in the deployment of carbon capture and use and the development of value-added products from recycled carbon. ABO thanks Senators Bennet and Whitehouse for their leadership and vision in introducing this bill,” said Algae Biomass Organization Executive Director Matt Carr.

Whitehouse has worked with Senators on both sides of the aisle to advance promising low-carbon technologies like CCUS.  In February, Whitehouse’s bipartisan bill to encourage technological innovation in CCUS while reducing carbon pollution, the FUTURE Act, was signed into law.  Whitehouse has also championed the USE IT Act, bipartisan legislation to support carbon utilization and direct air capture research that recently passed out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.


Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921