Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi is one of three U.S. legislators sponsoring a bill that would help ease the process for earning tax credits related to carbon capture.
The existing carbon capture tax credit offers a maximum of 150 million dollars total per year, or a national cap set at 75 million tons of carbon, to companies which capture or reuse greenhouse gases instead of releasing them into the air. The credit expires once that limit is reached. That breaks down to a credit of $10 per ton for enhanced oil recovery, and $20 per ton for carbon capture.
Senator Enzi’s new bill attempts to make the process more transparent by creating a program to check companies’ eligibility and by capping any one company’s benefit to 15 million tons of carbon.Rob Hurless, of the University of Wyoming’s energy school and energy advisor to Governor Mead, says he suspects that the proposed reform could encourage more companies to take advantage of the offer.
“If there’s uncertainty about, gee whiz, how many credits are left, who else is competing for them, will my project quality...those are all I think fair questions, that I believe Senator Enzi’s modification to that bill is trying to respond to,” says Hurless.According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. emitted 6.8 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 nationwide, and Wyoming accounted for 60 million tons.