The Carbon Utilization Research Council (CURC) is pleased to support the Fossil Energy Utilization, Enhancement and Leadership (FUEL) Act of 2018 introduced by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and cosponsored by Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). This legislation would provide a needed update to our domestic energy policy by providing and directing federal investments in research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of transformational, advanced coal generation technologies. CURC applauds Senators Manchin and Heitkamp on the introduction of the FUEL Act as it focuses on innovative technology pathways that will result in a reduced environmental footprint from coal use, and enable the nation to continue to benefit from the responsible use of our abundant and low cost coal resources.
“CURC and its members have long advocated for a robust public-private partnership program of research, development and demonstration to accelerate transformational, coal power generation technologies” states Shannon Angielski, Executive Director of CURC. “The introduction of this legislation will reset our technology goals and objectives for the 21st century and unlock the U.S. innovation potential that will result in affordable and reliable coal generation for years to come.”
The FUEL Act directs the Department of Energy to establish an updated coal technology program that includes a broad research, development, and demonstration program for several technologies, including technologies that for carbon capture, utilization and storage, and authorizes funding for large scale pilot projects and front end engineering and design studies. The program outlined in the FUEL Act aligns with the recommendations of the CURC-EPRI Advanced Fossil Energy Technology Roadmap. The bill would also support R&D for carbon utilization, extraction of rare earth minerals, and directs the Department of Energy to study the viability of long-term stabilization support contracts – an effort CURC believes would be extremely valuable in demonstrating and financing commercial scale carbon capture projects. Each of these provisions will open up new and valuable technology pathways for the long-term use of our nation’s abundant coal and fossil energy resources.