Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 24, 2009

Lawmaker: Proposed CCS bill ‘essential to coal industry’

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., introduced legislation Tuesday to advance the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage technologies.

Boucher was joined by a bipartisan delegation of lawmakers in supporting the measure. He said the technology, which is a method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by capturing and injecting underground the carbon dioxide emitted from electricity generation plants that use fossil fuels, will reap benefits to both Southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia.

“The passage of our measure to assure the arrival of carbon capture and sequestrian technologies is essential to the long-term future of the coal industry, and the coal industry is a key part of the economy of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia — both today and it will be a key part of our regional economy for decades to come,” Boucher said. “The key to the coal industry having a vibrant future is the creation of carbon capture and sequestrian technology.”

Boucher, who spoke to the Daily Telegraph Tuesday afternoon before returning to the House floor, said the carbon capture technology was launched last summer in Southwest Virginia.

“We are presently conducting the largest test in the nation with the injection of carbon dioxide into an unmineable coal seam in Russell County,” Boucher said. “That (test) is continuing.”

Boucher said the legislation introduced Tuesday would establish a $1 billion annual fund derived from fees on the generation of electricity from coal, oil and natural gas. Grants from the fund will be awarded to large-scale projects advancing the commercial availability of the technology.

Boucher was joined in sponsorship of the bill by U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., US. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., U.S. Rep. Tim Holden, D-Pa., U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Alab., U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., U.S. Rep. Baron Hill, D-Ind., U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., and U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio.

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