Basin Electric CEO testifies on Capitol Hill
Basin Electric CEO and General Manager Paul Sukut testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Feb. 27 in Washington, D.C.
Sukut's testimony, along with that of Steve Oldham, CEO of Carbon Engineering, and Kurt Waltzer, managing director of the Clean Air Task Force, was given as part of a hearing on the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies, or USE IT Act. This legislation would encourage the commercial use of manmade carbon dioxide (CO2) emission, support carbon capture technology, and expedite permitting for CO2 pipelines in order to move it from where it is captured to where it is used or stored.
“The USE IT Act is a practical, common-sense piece of legislation to turn CO2 emissions into valuable products,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), chairman of the committee. “America should reduce emissions through innovation, not punishing government regulation. The USE IT Act advances that goal.”
During his testimony, Sukut discussed innovation in the utility industry and Basin Electric’s efforts to reduce emissions, citing examples such as Basin Electric’s Dry Fork Station hosting the Wyoming Integrated Test Center, the Great Plains Synfuels Plant being home to one of the largest CO2 sequestration projects in the world, and the cooperative’s support of carbon-capture projects and technology including the Allam Cycle and the CarbonSAFE program in North Dakota and Wyoming.
“Basin Electric and its members have invested billions in capital in recent years to secure its fossil-based generation. Basin is actively-engaged in ensuring that these assets can continue to operate in a carbon-constrained future, and we strongly support commonsense carbon management regulation that recognizes improvements already made to existing plants, sets a standard that is achievable with cost-effective technologies that can be applied to the facility itself, and allows for flexibility,” Sukut said. “We appreciate the bipartisan support from members of this committee and others for legislation such as the 45Q carbon capture tax credit that was expanded last year, as well as the USE IT Act that provide further assistance to relieve the regulatory and financial barriers to carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration, as well as other novel technologies.”
Following the witness’ testimonies, Barrasso praised Basin Electric for its carbon management efforts before opening up the floor to questions. “Basin Electric’s leadership in carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration is impressive, and you really need to be commended for what you’ve been doing,” Barrasso said.
Find video of the full committee hearing and testimony transcripts on the Committee on Environment and Public Works webpage.