H.R. 1689, the Carbon Capture and Storage Early Deployment Act, introduced by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) in March 2009, is designed to accelerate the development and early deployment of carbon capture and storage technologies by providing a funding mechanism for commercial-scale demonstrations that is outside the traditional appropriations process.
Overview of Bill
- Provides structure for establishments of the Carbon Storage Research Corporation. The bill allows for the establishment of the Carbon Storage Research Corporation; however, establishment is contingent on a referendum by a fossil-fuel based industry organization (such as Edison Electric Institute or the American Public Power Association), and state regulatory authorities maintain the right to oppose the establishment of the corporation. (Sec 3)
- Collects at least $1B in annual funding from utilities. This bill authorizes the Carbon Storage Research Corporation to collect $1-1.1 billion dollars from utilities based on the amount of fossil-fuel generated electricity delivered to ratepayers. The carbon dioxide emission rates of different fossil fuels would be considered. The bill allows for use of average data and regional differences in methodology.
- Allows full cost recovery for utilities. This bill includes provisions that allow the utility to recover the full costs of implementing the bill.
- Provides financial assistance mechanism to support commercial-scale demonstration of carbon capture or storage technologies. This bill establishes the Carbon Capture and Storage Corporation to serve as the administrator for funding commercial-scale carbon capture or storage demonstrations, with competitive awards and preference given for projects that demonstrate and integrated approach for capture and storage.
- Ensures that information learned will be publicly available while protecting intellectual property rights. This bill specifies that information learned as a result of projects funded by the Carbon Storage Research Corporation will be made publicly available and also requires establishment of policies for intellectual property rights, peer-review of program plans and publicly-accessible reports and meetings. (Section 4)
- Management of the Carbon Storage Research Corporation. The bill specifies that the Corporation would operate as a division or affiliate of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and be managed by an appointed board that includes primarily distribution utilities, along with one representative each from publicly-owned utilities, rural electric cooperatives, fossil fuel producers, non-profit environmental organizations, independent generators or wholesale power providers, and consumer groups. The Secretary of Energy (or designee) and two state regulatory authorities will sit on the board as non-voting members, and an academic technical advisory committee will be established to independently assess the program and provide recommendations to the board. (Sec 3)
- Texas provision ensures that renewable energy credits will be taken into account during the fee assessment. This bill includes provisions specific to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas that includes a more detailed assessment process for implementation in Texas. These provisions include specific mention of renewable energy credits.