December 13, 2019

Manchin, Capito Introduce Bipartisan Coal To Products Bill

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), today introduced bipartisan legislation to advance research and promote coal-derived carbon products. Some of these coal products include carbon fiber, graphite and carbon foam. The Senators were also joined by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY).

“The National Energy Technology Lab in Morgantown, West Virginia is leading research to develop high-value products from coal feedstock. The Coal TeCC Act will help promote coal innovation in the industrial, defense, agriculture, medical and pharmaceutical industries. Coal will continue to play an important role in the economy and this important research will ensure we are getting the most value from this important natural resource. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure it becomes law,” Ranking Member Manchin said.  

“Coal-to-materials manufacturing is a growing high-tech market for coal and its byproducts,” Senator Capito said. “This legislation will advance research and development, as well as commercial deployment for technologies like graphene and carbon fiber. Research and expertise at West Virginia University and NETL in Morgantown put West Virginia at the forefront of this industry in Appalachia.”  

The Creating Opportunities And Leveraging Technologies for Coal Carbon Act, or COAL TeCC Act, establishes a dedicated program within the Department of Energy (DOE) focused on advancing the research and promotion of coal-derived carbon products. Enactment of this bill will enhance ongoing work at DOE that is being carried out through NETL to utilize coal as a precursor for value added products for alternative, advance uses. Engineers at NETL are conducting research to enable the production of cost-competitive, high-value carbon fibers and innovative materials for use in new products like building materials, energy storage technologies, 3D printing materials, and carbon composites. Additional revenues from these new products will enhance the economics of coal as a higher-value fuel which can benefit communities in traditional energy producing states like West Virginia.    

The COAL TeCC Act also directs DOE to establish a $4 million pilot and demonstration program in Appalachia to help coal-derived carbon products reach the commercialization phase.