Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) credits an Energy Futures Initiative report on carbon dioxide removal with having a direct impact on federal legislation that she has introduced.
On June 14, 2023, Senator Murkowski and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) introduced the Carbon Removal, Efficient Agencies, Technology Expertise (CREATE) Act of 2023 with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). This bipartisan bill aims to increase research and development of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies to help reduce net greenhouse gas emissions.
This was the third time the CREATE Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate—the bill was proposed first in 2020, and then again, the following year. The broader set of sponsors for the CREATE Act, as well as a renewed consensus on boosting investment in carbon-reducing energy technologies, may give the legislation a better chance of becoming law.
Shortly after first introducing the CREATE Act, Senator Murkowski said in her podcast, Murkowski’s Message, that the bipartisan bill was “taking a page from your report,” referring to the 2019 Energy Futures Initiative report, “Clearing the Air: A Federal RD&D Initiative and Management Plan for Carbon Dioxide Removal Technologies.”
“After EFI laid down Clearing the Air, I introduced a bill we mentioned at the hearing this week with Senator Sinema, taking a page from your report,” Senator Murkowski said. “We call it the CREATE Act…. An important part of how things happen at the legislative level as well, is when we rely on experts such as you.”
Removing carbon from the atmosphere is essential to keep the global average temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius. The Energy Futures Initiative’s “Clearing the Air” is a landmark report on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) that has been cited frequently by other organizations. It outlines actions to lower the costs and increase the commercial readiness of carbon dioxide removal technology in the United States. The report details a 10-year research, development, and demonstration initiative to guide this process and includes the collaboration of 10 federal agencies and departments.
This is the latest sign of how EFI’s work has informed specific energy innovations, which has led to some 10 federal initiatives, including the new Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations at the U.S. Department of Energy.
-Callyn Bloch, Communications Fellow
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