On May 23, 2019, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the "Launching Energy Advancement and Development through Innovations for Natural Gas Act," which amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to direct the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a research, development and demonstration program for new technology capable of capturing CO2 produced by natural gas power plants. Senators Coons (D-DE) and Cassidy (R-LA) joined Senator Cornyn as co-sponsors.
The program would be charged with "identify[ing] opportunities to accelerate the development and commercial applications of qualifying technologies to reduce the quantity of carbon dioxide emissions released from" natural gas fired power plants. It would also work with natural gas power plants to expedite and carry out at least three demonstration projects for CO2 capture by September 2025, solicitations for which would be sent out within 120 days of the bill's passage. DOE would share the costs of the demonstration projects with the private partners under Section 988 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The entire program, including the demonstration projects, would receive up to $50 million a year of funds appropriated to the Department to carry out fossil energy research and development programs.
Senator Cornyn's office characterizes the bill as helping to "ensure a reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound energy supply," without imposing a renewable energy or other "mandate" that Senator Cornyn says "would bankrupt our country." Senator Cassidy, also from an oil-producing state, applauds the support the bill would provide for continuing the transition to natural gas. Senator Coons, a Democrat, supports the bill as being "critical to near-term reductions of emissions from our electricity and industrial sectors."
The bill was one of a bundle of energy-related bills considered by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources at a legislative hearing on July 9, 2019.