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November 22, 2019

Chairwoman Johnson’s Opening Statement for Advanced Carbon Capture R&D Field Hearing

(Houston, TX) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy is holding a field hearing titled, “The Future of Advanced Carbon Capture Research and Development.”

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) opening statement for the record is below.

Good morning and thank you, Chair Fletcher, for holding today’s hearing in Houston on the Department of Energy’s efforts to advance carbon capture, utilization, and storage, or CCUS, technologies.

Historically, fossil fuels have served as the primary sources of U.S. energy as they provide reliable power at low costs. They have also been an important resource to the manufacturing sector, which relies on fossil fuel combustion to provide high-temperature heat needed for a variety of processes, including the production of cement and glass.

My home state of Texas has played an important role in the fossil fuel industry as the leading producer of crude oil and natural gas in the U.S. However, as our nation’s priorities have evolved, we are now focused not only on using energy sources that provide low cost, dispatchable energy, but also on how the greenhouse gases produced by these sources are mitigated and managed.

That’s why we must strengthen our investment in the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, which amongst other activities, supports research to reduce emissions that result from the production and use of fossil fuels. This includes the development of technologies such as carbon capture, utilization, and storage, and methane leak detection and mitigation. DOE’s Fossil Energy Office has already been instrumental in advancing CCUS technologies, having heavily invested in one of the first commercial scale demonstrations of carbon capture and storage in the power sector at Petra Nova. Yet, there is much more to be done. To date, there has been relatively little research, development, and demonstration conducted on CCUS technologies applied to natural gas plants, an increasing energy source for our power sector, and industrial processes, which produce over 20% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, many experts, including former DOE Secretary, Ernest Moniz, have highlighted the need to advance direct carbon capture technologies to manage existing, ambient carbon pollution.

For these reasons, I am a proud cosponsor of H.R. 3607, the bipartisan Fossil Energy Research and Development Act of 2019, which reauthorizes and expands these important research activities, and specifically enables DOE to conduct additional demonstration projects, like Petra Nova, that are critical for propelling the CCUS industry forward.

I look forward to discussing this legislation further and hearing from our distinguished group of witnesses today on the research investments we need to make our transition to a clean energy future possible. Thank you for being here this morning.

With that, I yield back.