Make better use of fossil fuels

Regardless of what you may hear from members of Congress who believe they have a magic wand they can wave over America and — poof! — do away with fossil fuels, the nation will need coal, petroleum and natural gas for many years to come. There simply is no reliable, affordable alternative for many fuel needs.

Finding more environmentally-friendly ways to use fossil fuels needs to be part of any “green new deal.”

U.S. Reps. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and Collin Peterson, D-Minn., understand the necessity of making that happen. They have introduced a bill, HR 1796, to make use of carbon capture technology more attractive to industries, including electric utilities.

HR 1796 focuses on an existing tax credit meant to encourage use of carbon capture technology. But, as so often is the case, requirements for obtaining the credit are unnecessarily and unrealistically stringent — so much so that nearly $2 billion worth of the tax incentives have not been used.

“America must continue to advocate for an innovation-focused approach to lower emissions. Modernizing the 48A tax credit is just one more way to do that. Our bill will expand the use of CCS technology on existing coal facilities across the country,” Rep. McKinley said.

“I look forward to seeing carbon capture and sequestration projects get up and running. I have always believed that clean coal is an important part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy for our country,” Peterson said.

A bipartisan coalition is leading the charge for HR 1796. Its co-sponsors include four Republicans and two Democrats.

HR 1796 should be enacted as swiftly as possible. It is both environmentally friendly and realistic for Americans.