Bill would add incentives for promoting carbon capture
Texas 2036 Senior Policy Advisor Jeremy Mazur testified Monday in favor of efforts in the Legislature to provide further incentives in promoting carbon capture and underground storage and hydrogen energy as part of a larger strategy to expand energy options in the state.
House Bill 1158 by state Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, would help the CCUS industry by making Texas Emissions Reduction Plan funds available to it. TERP is a state program aimed at promoting the reduction of air polluting emissions from a wide array of vehicles and equipment.
“Texas 2036 views CCUS and hydrogen energy as components of our ‘energy expansion,'” Mazur told members of the House Energy Resources Committee. “By this, we think that oil and gas will continue to play a role in our state’s energy future. But at the same time, our state’s energy portfolio will expand to include carbon capture and underground storage and hydrogen energy.
He added, “This energy expansion that we’re looking at involves the delivery of not only more energy, but also more, cleaner energy. House Bill 1158 helps support our state’s pursuit of this energy expansion.”
Putting skin in the game
Mazur then laid out two arguments in favor of the legislation.
“First,” he said, “the bill demonstrates that Texas is willing to put ‘skin in the game’ with regard to the development of carbon capture and hydrogen projects. A report prepared for Texas 2036 by the Baker Institute at Rice University notes that both CCUS and hydrogen energy projects are relatively new, and involve a significant amount of financial risk in the absence of fully-developed markets for carbon storage and hydrogen fuel. … Authorizing the use of TERP funds for these projects helps mitigate those risks, and opens the door for more investment in these areas.
“My second point, authorizing the use of TERP funds for CCUS and hydrogen projects expands the opportunity for the development of these sectors in Texas. As the report by the Baker Institute points out, Texas has many assets that positions our state to lead the nation in CCUS and hydrogen production. These include a robust energy industry, a talented workforce, and extensive hydrocarbon resources, to name a few.
“If approved, HB 1158 would help the state leverage these incumbent advantages towards the needed development of carbon capture and hydrogen markets.”