August 19, 2021 Read More →

Enchant lobbying bills exceed carbon capture project study costs

Energy and Policy Institute:

– The Department of Energy increased its share of the costs to study a carbon capture proposal at the San Juan Generating Station in the final week of the Trump administration.

– Enchant has focused its spending on lobbyists for additional subsidies from Congress, federal agencies, and the state of New Mexico.

– Environmental and Native groups say the federal government must complete an Environmental Impact Statement before continuing to fund the carbon capture proposal.

The developers of a controversial coal carbon capture proposal at the San Juan Generating Station in New Mexico have not attracted interest from outside investors and failed to fund even their share of the study for the billion dollar proposal. Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Department of Energy revised the cost sharing agreement in January 2021 to increase the share paid by taxpayers for the study; the agency now has confirmed to the Energy and Policy Institute that the decision was made during the final week of the Trump administration.

In the absence of investor interest, Enchant Energy is now also seeking a $906 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy for the carbon capture proposal, lobbying Congress for expanded 45Q tax credits and other subsidies, and urging the state of New Mexico to accept long-term liability for sequestered carbon dioxide – on top of the federal funding it is already receiving for the study. Environmental and Native groups in the region wrote to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and other officials in May to request that the agency stop spending federal dollars on the carbon capture proposal until it completes an Environmental Impact Statement.

[Joe Smyth]

More: Enchant Energy spent more on lobbying than planning its coal carbon capture project

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