Senator Cornyn

Cornyn’s Energy Innovation Bill Now Law

December 28, 2020

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after his Launching Energy Advancement and Development through Innovations for Natural Gas (LEADING) Act was signed into law as a part of the omnibus funding bill:

“Rather than regulate energy providers into the ground, this law will encourage industry innovation,” said Sen. Cornyn.  “The LEADING Act will lower energy bills for Texans and protect them from the massive costs of alternative energy plans like the Green New Deal, all while protecting our environment long-term.”

Background on the LEADING Act:

The LEADING Act would incentivize research and development of carbon capture technology for natural gas to ensure a reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound energy supply. The LEADING Act will promote the continued use of natural gas so we can keep energy bills low, maintain U.S. energy security, and protect the environment all at the same time.

By increasing the use of natural gas and other innovative resources, the United States is leading the world in emissions reduction. Natural gas is now the main source of energy in the United States, generating 35.1% of our electricity in 2018. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects this number to continue to rise for the foreseeable future as more natural gas power plants come online. Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide when combusted in a natural gas power plant compared with other sources. Natural gas supports the deployment of renewable energy, and natural gas power plants can quickly and safely ramp up and down to combat the volatility of renewables. Developing cost-effective carbon capture technology for natural gas power plants will help the United States continue to lower emissions while creating jobs and supporting domestic energy production and security.

The Launching Energy Advancement and Development through Innovations for Natural Gas Act would require the Secretary of Energy to establish a program for the research, development, and demonstration of commercially viable technologies for the capture of carbon dioxide produced during the generation of natural gas-generated power. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Require the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a program to develop cost-effective carbon capture technologies for use by natural gas-generating power facilities. By incentivizing research and innovation, the goal is to accelerate development and commercial application of natural gas carbon capture technologies and create a partnership with the private sector for demonstration projects.
  • Encourage DOE to include the participation of National Laboratories, universities, and research facilities, including the National Carbon Capture Center.
  • Require DOE to solicit applications for demonstration projects and submit a report to Congress detailing legislative recommendations, applicant evaluation method, expected goals for technology development, estimations of project costs, and timelines for project construction.