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Hatch bill would give tax credits for clean coal

Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) have introduced bipartisan legislation to encourage innovation and investment in energy from clean coal sources. Sen Hatch said the Coal Energy Bridge Act of 2010 would expand the use of clean coal technology and help set the country on a path to energy independence.

"Our legislation recognizes that our nation's economic strength is based, in large part, on energy from coal; therefore, it is important to actively promote the cleanest and most advanced technologies related to coal energy," Hatch said.

The legislation creates tax incentives to encourage private investment into clean coal technology. Specifically, it creates a 30 percent investment tax credit for coal facilities that utilize advanced technologies to capture and reduce carbon dioxide emissions at their facilities. Coal is used to generate roughly half of all electricity produced in the United States. The carbon dioxide captured from the use of coal can be used to re-pressurize oil wells to increase oil production.

The tax credits under the Coal Energy Bridge Act would be available to facilities across the nation that use coal and biomass to produce electricity, synthetic natural gas, or liquid fuels. The bill also makes $5 billion available for bonds for use by rural electric cooperatives and public power systems that choose to capture and store carbon dioxide from coal facilities.

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