(As Prepared for Delivery before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. View the archived webcast here: https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2019/5/full-committee-hearing-to-examine-ccus-and-to-receive-testimony-on-legislation)
Chairman Murkowski, Ranking Member Cantwell and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the EFFECT Act and the Dept. of Energy’s CCUS programs. My name is Julio Friedmann. I am a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy at the School of International and Public Affairs.
It is an honor to appear again before this Committee to discuss CCUS, and timely. Since my last congressional testimony, the world has changed dramatically. Analysis from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and dozens of other organizations conclude that CCUS is essential to achieve important climate targets, including 2C, let alone 1.5.  In fact, without CCUS most models do not converge on a solution at all. Those that do conclude dramatically higher costs – more than twice to total needed investment, to hit the same targets. That’s why the Center for Global Energy Policy  has launched the Carbon Management Research Initiative,  which I direct. The Initiative draws on the extraordinary capabilities of Columbia Univ., including centers like the Earth Institute, Sabin Law Center, and faculty like Peter Keleman, Alissa Park, Bruce Usher, and Peter deMenocal.
The world of CCUS has also changed.  Today, eighteen CCUS projects operate worldwide and prevent 34 million tons CO2 from entering our air and oceans every year. Eight of these, the largest number for any country, are in the US. More are on the way, in part because of policies enacted by House and Senate, notably the 45Q amendments under the FUTURE act.  New projects, stimulated by these new laws, have been announced and more will be announced soon.
New studies by groups like the International Energy Agency,  Global CCS Institute, and the Energy Transition Commission  have underscored how CCUS is an essential component to supporting both economic growth and rapid, deep decarbonization. Many groups, ranging from Green New Deal advocates to the US Chamber of Commerce and all major oil companies, have stated strongly that man-made climate change is an urgent threat requiring more ambition and action. Many countries have begun to add CCUS to their climate and energy action plans. This includes new projects in China, Norway, and the Middle East; formal announcement of CCUS policy imperatives in the UK, Netherlands, and Canada; and highlighting of CCUS at the pending Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver later this month.
It should be clear from all of this that CCUS deployment is not some untested technology or greenwashing or a license to pollute. Quite the opposite – it is an overt, committed effort to deeply and quickly reduce emissions in a cost-effective way while sustaining economic growth and communities at risk.