Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Joe Manchin (D-WV), along with U.S. Representatives Sean Casten (D-IL), David McKinley (R-WV), Aumua Amata (R-AS-At Large), and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), today introduced the bipartisan Clean Industrial Technology Act (CITA) to unleash innovation that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industrial sources and make American companies more competitive in the global economy.
“Industrial sources are responsible for a stubbornly large share of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.,” said Senator Whitehouse. “This legislation would unlock solutions to make American industrial companies more competitive internationally while reducing their carbon footprint. Broad bipartisan support for this bill from environmentalists and industry groups alike shows that we can find common ground on climate change.”
Rep. Casten said, “Addressing the climate crisis requires meaningful action to encourage decarbonization across all sectors of the economy. But, in the industrial sector, there remain many obstacles which demand additional research and resources to overcome. This bill would centralize research and development of low-carbon industrial technologies already underway at the Department of Energy while placing an emphasis on these efforts as an essential part of the agency’s overall work. I’d like to thank Senator Whitehouse, Senator Manchin, Senator Capito, and Congresswoman Amata for their leadership in this effort.”
“It’s important that we continue to develop and advance legislative solutions that help protect and improve the environment while also supporting and encouraging economic growth and job creation. This bipartisan legislation is exactly that kind of solution,” Senator Capito said. “I’m proud to again join with Senator Whitehouse to build on our long record of bipartisan work on commonsense legislation that is good for both the environment and the economy, and I will continue to make the deployment of carbon capture technologies and other innovative tools a priority. Through these efforts, we can protect jobs, encourage American innovation and industrial competitiveness, and reduce our carbon emissions.”
“The Clean Industrial Technology Act recognizes that asking America’s industry to decrease its carbon emissions before the technology is ready, will only serve to hurt American families and workers. This bill takes steps in the right direction by ensuring that the Department of Energy has the tools it needs to develop technologies for the 21st century economy. With targeted investments and a continuation of President Trump’s smart energy policy, American workers can continue to produce cleaner and stronger products for the U.S. and the globe,” said Senator Braun.
“Manufacturing and industrial processes are the backbone of the middle class and vital to communities in West Virginia and across the country. This bill engages those communities, industries, and workers directly in developing and demonstrating the climate solutions that will also secure the United States’ leadership on the global stage,” Senator Manchin said.
“America must do more to encourage innovation and ensure we can use our energy resources in the cleanest way possible.,” Rep. McKinley said. “This bipartisan legislation will promote technologies in the Industrial sector and will help to lower emissions while still allowing us to use all of our energy resources for years to come.”
Around 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from hard-to-reduce industrial sources, including heavy road and rail transport, shipping, aviation, chemical production, steel and cement production, and heat production. There are few technologies that would substantially reduce emissions from these sources, and the limited existing solutions remain costly. Spurring innovation that could be adopted by these industries would create an economic advantage and export opportunities as countries around the world expand emission reduction policies.
Under CITA, the Department of Energy in coordination with the Office of Science and Technology Policy would establish a new advisory council to coordinate funding for developing innovative technologies for industrial processes. The council would work with other federal agencies, National Laboratories, industry, and higher education institutions to advance research and demonstration projects for reducing emissions in the industrial sector. The Department of Energy would also establish a technical assistance program to help states, local governments, and tribal organizations implement the low carbon technologies.
CITA is supported by a broad range of industry and environmental groups, including the Environmental Defense Fund, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Industrial Energy Consumers of America, Carbon180, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Clean Air Task Force, Third Way, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Natural Resources Defense Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Chemistry Council, The Niskanen Center, The Nature Conservancy, and BlueGreen Alliance.
“Manufacturers have always been about solutions,” said Rachel Jones, Senior Director of Energy and Resources Policy at NAM. “We need real-world technologies to address our global climate problem, and legislation like CITA provides a common sense opportunity to move our efforts forward. This bill takes a clear-eyed look at the unique challenges that different energy-intensive industries face as we all work toward ensuring a safer and more prosperous future.”
“The Nature Conservancy appreciates the leadership of the bipartisan group of Senators and members of the House of Representatives that have come together to introduce the Clean Industrial Technology Act,” said Kameran Onley, Director of US Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy. “This legislation will help spur the innovation needed to cut emissions from the industrial sector – one of the nation’s largest sources of carbon emissions. To address the urgent challenge of climate change, we must deploy all the tools at our disposal. The Conservancy welcomes this new proposal.”
“The science is clear that we must reach net zero CO2 emissions by mid-century to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. UCS applauds the introduction of the Clean Industrial Technology Act to reduce emissions from industrial sources that represent about 30% of our country's emissions. Investing in low- and no-carbon technologies will drive innovation to get us where the science says we need to be, while simultaneously enhancing the country’s industrial competitiveness and creating new manufacturing jobs in the United States,” said Jeremy Richardson, Senior Energy Analyst, Climate and Energy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.