With energy prices and regulatory burdens on the rise, Congressman Geoff Davis introduced legislation today to encourage clean, low-cost electricity production using the country's most abundant energy resource, coal. The Supercritical Advanced Coal Project Incentive Act (H.R. 4826) creates an investment credit for power plants that use a high-efficiency method of coal-based power generation called "supercritical" technology.
"As older coal-based power plants reach retirement, this legislation provides an opportunity to help spawn a new fleet of plants for baseload generation," Congressman Davis said. "Not only would this create jobs, but supercritical coal technology can reduce energy costs and emissions by increasing the efficiency of power generation compared to that of traditional coal plants. Incentivizing supercritical coal technology would promote job creation and reduce the electricity bills of families and businesses."
"Instead of destroying America's coal power plants and raising household utility bills, Rep. Davis would modernize them with targeted incentives that will reduce emissions through greater energy efficiency and put the U.S. squarely in the forefront of global clean coal technology development," said National Mining Association CEO Hal Quinn.
Supercritical is a scientific concept that refers to the state at which high amounts of heat and pressure cause the liquid and gaseous phases of a substance to be indistinguishable. This helps fuel generate a greater amount of power than traditional plants.
The high heat and pressure allow supercritical coal plants to operate with greater efficiency. As a result of their increased efficiency, supercritical coal plants typically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide over a traditional coal plant by at least fifteen percent.
The Supercritical Advanced Coal Project Incentive Act would apply to coal-fueled boilers that reach thirty-six percent efficiency and operate at a minimum of pressure of 3,200 PSI. The amount of the credit would be equal to thirty percent of the taxpayer's investment in the qualifying project, and the total amount of the tax credits under this proposal is capped at $1.25 billion.