Murkowski, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Boost Research and Development of Carbon Removal Technologies

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ),  Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) yesterday introduced bipartisan legislation, the Carbon Removal, Efficient Agencies, Technology Expertise (CREATE) Act, which supports the development of innovative technologies that ensure cleaner air and a healthier environment.

“Carbon removal technologies have significant promise and could someday present an opportunity to substantially reduce net levels of global greenhouse gas emissions,” said Senator Murkowski. “Our bipartisan CREATE Act will help ensure coordinated leadership across federal agencies as we pursue the development of innovative technologies that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the oceans.” 

“Our bipartisan bill boosts innovative technologies to keep our air clean, and protect Arizonans’ health, and grow our economy,” said Senator Sinema, the lead sponsor of the bill.

“The science from the world’s top experts, including our own National Academies, shows that carbon removal from the oceans, atmosphere, and land will likely be needed to meet our climate goals,” said Senator Whitehouse. “Our bipartisan bill would bring scientists from across the federal government together to develop negative emissions technologies and curb climate change.”

“Working in a bipartisan fashion, I have been a champion of policies supporting carbon capture, utilization, and storage, including through direct air capture technologies and afforestation to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Increasingly more attention is being paid to this space by industry and nongovernmental organizations as the only way to meet carbon dioxide reduction targets while maintaining jobs and growing our economy. The CREATE Act will inform the federal response and budgetary process by focusing government experts’ efforts supporting carbon removal through direct air capture, afforestation, better soil management, and other approaches. A robust federal policy addressing carbon reduction from the atmosphere will be a win-win for the environment and our economic growth,” said Senator Capito.

Research shows that carbon dioxide removal (CDR) can play a significant role addressing excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Since CDR is early in its development, robust use of CDR calls for a new comprehensive federal research, development, and demonstration program.

The bipartisan CREATE Act develops a comprehensive federal initiative for CDR by:

  • Forming, within the National Science and Technology Council, a new Large-Scale Carbon Management program that will be co-chaired by the Associate Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and officials from the Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Establishing four working groups within a new Carbon Removal Initiative to pursue a technological and detailed CDR research and demonstration initiative across several federal agencies. The working groups will coordinate with the Office of Management and Budget to enhance existing research programs and conduct cross-cutting budget reviews.
  • Requiring that the working groups focus on carbon removal in the oceans, atmosphere, and land using both natural and technological approaches. 

Click here to view the bill text.

Murkowski introduced related legislation, the Blue Carbon for Our Planet Act, with Whitehouse earlier this year. She is also a cosponsor of Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) EFFECT Act, which would, in part, establish a comprehensive carbon removal research and development program at the Department of Energy. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee reported the EFFECT Act last year on a bipartisan basis and has since incorporated it into Murkowski’s broader American Energy Innovation Act.

Murkowski is Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Related Issues: Energy