In Washington, the Algae Biomass Organization applauded new legislation offered by U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) to prioritize research and development of carbon utilization technologies under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy program. The bill (S. 1282) would add “Improving the conversion, use, and storage of CO2 produced from fossil fuels” to the list of DOE Fossil Energy R&D objectives under Section 961(a) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16512(b)).
The bill is recognition of the growing importance of algae and other technologies that can convert captured CO2 to fuels, chemicals and other products. “By converting emissions into revenue streams, utilities and ratepayers can not only offset the cost of CO2 capture, minimizing the impact on electricity costs, but also create jobs and economic development in regions across the country,” said ABO Executive Director Matt Carr. “This bill will help speed the development and deployment of these important technologies.”
“Algae and other biological carbon utilization platforms are under development or demonstration in more than 30 states,” said Carr. “The inclusion of carbon utilization as an R&D priority for DOE’s Fossil Energy program will help further link these projects with fossil energy generators to optimize fossil carbon conversion and speed commercial deployment.”
Algae and other similar biological platforms have shown exceptional ability in pilot and demonstration projects throughout the country to convert CO2 into low-carbon advanced biofuels, plastics, fish and animal feed, and even fertilizer.
“We’ve spoken with dozens of members of Congress in the past year and have received bi-partisan support for this common sense approach to emissions reductions,” said Carr. “We look forward to seeing the proposal adopted.”