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Carbon Capture and Utilization Approved By EPA

Today, ABO is thrilled by the approval by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of carbon capture and utilization by power plants seeking to meet emissions reduction goals.

The Clean Power Plan notes that “state plans may allow affected EGU (Electric Generating Units) to use qualifying CCU technologies to reduce CO2 emissions that are subject to an emission standard, or those that are counted when demonstrating achievement of the CO2 emission performance rates or a state rate-based or mass-based CO2 emission.”

The ruling gives new certainty to a number of companies across the nation that are commercializing algae-based technologies that convert carbon dioxide generated at power plants into fuels, feeds, fertilizers and other valuable products.

ABO is confident that utilization of carbon by algae will reduce CO2 emissions that are subject to an emission standard, as evidenced by the recently approved pathway by the EPA for Algenol Fuels’ Direct-to-Ethanol technology as well as several other peer-reviewed life-cycle analyses of other pathways.

ABO’s message that carbon utilization is a common-sense, market-driven approach, which has bi-partisan support throughout Congress, is being heard. In addition to today’s landmark rule, carbon utilization’s growing importance is reflected by several bills in the House and Senate that direct federal agencies to increase funding for carbon utilization.

Just a few weeks ago EPA honored two ABO member companies that convert waste CO2 into fuels and chemicals with this year’s Presidential Green Chemistry awards, demonstrating the Agency’s appreciation of the key role of carbon utilization in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

Today’s final rule is a clear message that carbon utilization can and should be included in state compliance plans. It represents a huge gain for our industry and for the promise of carbon utilization, an idea that was not even considered by the EPA, Congress or the Obama administration a year ago.

The next steps are where the real work begins. ABO will build on today’s ruling and accelerate the success of carbon utilization projects through continued engagement with EPA, DOE, USDA and members of Congress as well as our own members.

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