LEGISLATION COULD BRING CLEAN COAL TO TEXAS
|Senator Kel Seliger of Amarillo lays out his plan to bring clean coal technology to Texas.|
(AUSTIN) -- Texas could be the first state in the nation with a carbon-sequestering coal plant, if incentives offered under a bill filed Thursday can attract the industry here. While many power plants have the ability to capture harmful emissions like nitrogen oxide, no coal plant yet exists to capture carbon dioxide, theorized to be one of the primary causes of climate change. At the same time, Texas is looking for a way to increase power generation to meet the needs of the nation's fastest growing population. Amarillo Senator Kel Seliger thinks that coal plants that sequester CO2 are a way to meet growing energy demands while minimizing the impact of emissions. In order to encourage development of these projects he filed SB 483, which would offer incentives to companies that want to develop these plants in Texas. "This provides an incentive framework that should get clean coal technology going, and it should then become the standard for coal energy production in the United States", he said.
The bill would offer up to $100 million in franchise tax credits to the first three qualifying projects. A qualifying plant would have to capture no less than 60 percent of the carbon dioxide it produces. This CO2 would initially be used in enhanced oil recovery, where the liquefied gas is pumped into oil wells to force out underground crude. The Texas Bureau of Economic Geology estimates this process could produce 3 to 5 billion barrels of oil in the state. The bill would also extend the severance tax on manmade CO2 used in this process for another 30 years.