May 23, 2019

Cassidy, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Ensure Reliable, Affordable and Environmentally-Sound Energy Supply

WASHINGTON–U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced the Launching Energy Advancement and Development through Innovations for Natural Gas (LEADING) Act,legislation incentivizing research and development of carbon capture technology for natural gas to ensure a reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound energy supply.  The LEADING Act will promote the continued use of natural gas so we can keep energy bills low, maintain U.S. energy security, and protect the environment all at the same time.  

“The United States is leading by example with cleaner burning natural gas, showing the world that families can have lower utility bills, a cleaner environment, and better jobs,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Transitioning to natural gas is lowering our carbon footprint and investing in innovative technology will increase these benefits. Energy investment in Louisiana has created thousands of good-paying jobs across our state and unleashed U.S. energy dominance.”

“The U.S. leads the world in emissions reduction, but to build on that success, we need to incentivize innovation and partner with the private sector to create affordable solutions,” Senator Cornyn said. “Instead of a one-size-fits-all mandate that would bankrupt our country, this bill encourages the continued use of natural gas so we can protect the environment and remain a global leader in energy innovation.”

“I am proud to work with Senators Cornyn, Cassidy, and Sinema on legislation to tackle climate change,” said Senator Chris Coons. “In order to address this global threat, we need to invest in innovative energy technologies that can drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The LEADING Act is critical to near-term reductions of emissions from our electricity and industrial sectors, and will help power innovation and create jobs.”

Background on the LEADING Act:

By increasing the use of natural gas and other innovative resources, the United States is leading the world in emissions reduction.  Natural gas is now the main source of energy in the United States, generating 35.1% of our electricity in 2018.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)expects this number to continue to rise for the foreseeable future as more natural gas power plants come online.  Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide when combusted in a natural gas power plant compared with other sources. Natural gas supports the deployment of renewable energy, and natural gas power plants can quickly and safely ramp up and down to combat the volatility of renewables.  Developing cost-effective carbon capture technology for natural gas power plants will help the United States continue to lower emissions while creating jobs and supporting domestic energy production and security.   

The Launching Energy Advancement and Development through Innovations for Natural Gas Act would require the Secretary of Energy to establish a program for the research, development, and demonstration of commercially viable technologies for the capture of carbon dioxide produced during the generation of natural gas-generated power. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Require the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a program to develop cost-effective carbon capture technologies for use by natural gas-generating power facilities. By incentivizing research and innovation, the goal is to accelerate development and commercial application of natural gas carbon capture technologies and create a partnership with the private sector for demonstration projects. 
  • Encourage DOE to include the participation of National Laboratories, universities, and research facilities, including the National Carbon Capture Center. 
  • Require DOE to solicit applications for demonstration projects and submit a report to Congress detailing legislative recommendations, applicant evaluation method, expected goals for technology development, estimations of project costs, and timelines for project construction.