April 20, 2016

Manchin Commends Senate Passage of Broad Energy Bill

Washington, D.C. – As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today applauded the Senate’s passage of the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, a comprehensive, bipartisan bill that addresses our nation’s energy opportunities and challenges. Included in the bill are four of Senator Manchin’s amendments that comprise the entirety of the bill’s coal title and focus on promoting an all-of-the-above energy policy, keeping coal competitive with other low-carbon energy sources and speeding up efforts to develop carbon emission-reducing technologies. Also included in the bill is the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which helps maintain and expand access to West Virginia’s natural treasures like the Gauley River and key battlefield areas around Harpers Ferry.

“It is critical for our country to establish an all-of-the-above energy portfolio that includes all of our domestic resources and to face the fact that coal will play an integral role in producing our electricity for decades to come,” Senator Manchin said. “My measures ensure that we are investing in the necessary research development and advanced technologies to address the preservation of low cost electricity, clean coal production, cost effective energy practices and carbon emissions reduction. These will help strike a balance between a healthy economy and a clean environment, and my measures will support the future of coal, provide good jobs and make our country more energy diverse, effective, and secure for years to come.”

Below is a list of Senator Manchin’s provisions that were included in the bill:

Designate Clean Coal Technologies as an Official DOE Fossil Energy Priority: Included in the base bill, this provision would amend the Energy Policy Act and list carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) as a specific objective for DOE and the Office of Fossil Energy. This measure would work to maintain clean coal technologies as a clear part of the nation’s energy mix and lower the cost of reducing carbon emissions.

Use Pre-Authorized Funding for Clean Coal Innovation: Included in the base bill, this provision would require the DOE to study the effectiveness of recommended changes to the agency’s loan program, which authorized $8 billion in 2008, but has yet to use the funds for carbon and cost reducing fossil energy projects.

Prioritize Clean Coal Research and Development: This amendment would put a premium on a path forward for coal by establishing a comprehensive program dedicated to clean coal technological innovation through research, development, and implementation. The program would work to preserve low-cost electricity, diversify our nation’s energy supply by keeping coal competitive with other low-carbon energy sources, and speed up efforts to develop carbon emission-reducing technologies.

Authorize Coal Technology Program Budget: This amendment adds $22 million to the already authorized budget for the coal technology program. The additional $22 million would support preliminary engineering leading to large-scale pilot projects with processes resulting in net-negative CO2 emissions from production and consumption of the end products, employing a combination of coal and biomass feedstocks with carbon capture and storage.