Bingaman joins Barrasso in CCS bill to offer R&D incentives
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has joined US Sen. John A. Barrasso (R-Wyo.) in proposing a government prize to encourage scientific research and development of carbon capture and storage technology.
OGJ Washington Editor
WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 13 -- Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has joined US Sen. John A. Barrasso (R-Wyo.) in proposing a government prize to encourage scientific research and development of carbon capture and storage technology.
The two federal lawmakers introduced S. 2774, the Carbon Dioxide Capture Technology Act, on Nov. 12 to establish a CCS awards system for scientists and researchers.
Historically, prizes have been used to encourage all types of technological development, said Barrasso, who introduced a similar bill in 2008. Charles A. Lindberg was competing for the Orteig Prize when he flew the Spirit of St. Louis nonstop from New York to Paris in 1927, he noted.
“The bill taps into American ingenuity and innovation,” Barrasso explained. “It recognizes the need to develop the technological solutions needed to address climate change. It makes sense that we explore alternative approaches for removing and permanently sequestering excess carbon dioxide. With financial awards, we can encourage the extraordinary breakthroughs needed to tackle this problem.”
Bingaman added, “If we could capture carbon dioxide emitted by low-concentration sources, or even the atmosphere, it would be a major step toward a cleaner energy future.” Bingaman—who is cosponsoring the legislation for the first time—concluded: “A federal prize to inspire inventive solutions to this technical challenge could help us get there quicker.”
Under the bill, Barrasso said, a program would be established under a federal commission within the US Department of Energy. Climate scientists, physicists, chemists, engineers, business managers, and economists would serve on the commission as presidential appointees.
Awards would go to public and private entities which design technology to remove and permanent sequester CO2 directly from the atmosphere, Barrasso said. The US would share the intellectual property rights with the inventor once the technology was developed, he noted.
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