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Increasing Attention In Congress for Carbon Utilization

The algae in Algenol's bioreactors in Florida consume carbon dioxide as they produce ethanol and other fuels.

The algae in Algenol’s bioreactors in Florida consume carbon dioxide as they produce ethanol and other fuels.

Algae can consume enormous quantities of carbon dioxide as they grow, and since they can also be used to produce a number of valuable products (fuel, feed, plastics, nutritional supplements and more) there has been an increased level of interest on both sides of the aisle in Congress.

Consider:

1.    In May U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced legislation to prioritize research and development of carbon utilization technologies at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy program.

2.    The House passed an Energy and Water Appropriations bill which included $2 million for carbon utilization R&D at the Fossil Energy office, and the Senate Energy and Water Full Committee passed their own version with $10 million for carbon utilization.

3.    A few weeks ago Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced climate legislation that calls out carbon capture and utilization as an accepted method for power plants and other industries to achieve CO2 reductions.

4.    Recently, language that encourages the EPA to implement policies which encourage the utilization of carbon dioxide was included in pending Interior Appropriations legislation.

5.    Last week the bipartisan energy bill put forward by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee included the CCU language for Fossil Energy.

6.    Now this week we have a bill from U.S. Reps. Scott Peters (D-CA) and Matt Salmon (R-AZ) in the House with similar language.

It’s clear that this approach of recycling carbon dioxide emissions into products we need is getting more attention than ever–no doubt because of its unique potential to deliver both environmental and economic benefits. At ABO we’re very excited by the response and look forward to accelerating the commercialization of this innovative new approach!

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