Sending Office: Honorable David B. McKinley
We invite you to join us in sending a letter to the Energy and Water Subcommittee in support of funding for the Fossil Energy Research and Development Program (FE R&D). We provide robust funding of $829m including: $435 million for your continued support
for the Coal CCS & Power Systems program, $100 million for the Natural Gas and Oil R&D program, and $95 million for the Cross Cutting Program, all which are funded and administered by DOE’s Fossil Energy R&D program. By providing this critical funding, we
will continue the vital research being conducted on technologies to utilize our nation’s vast coal, oil, and natural gas resources
The Fossil Energy R&D program has a proven record of accomplishment of developing and cultivating technologies that deliver real, tangible benefits. Carbon capture research and development is funded by this program. This program is directly responsible for
developing control technologies that are used at 75% of our domestic coal-burning power plants, which reduced SO2 and NOx by an average of 85%.
The deadline to sign on is March 14. Programmatic requests must be submitted to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water by March 16.
David B. McKinley, P.E. Mike Doyle
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Dear Chairman Simpson and Ranking Member Kaptur,
As the House Appropriations Committee constructs the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019, we urge you to provide robust funding of $829 million for the Department of Energy (DOE) Fossil Energy Research and Development Program
(FE R&D). Within this recommendation, we have included; $435 million for your continued support for the Coal CCS & Power Systems program, $100 million for the Natural Gas and Oil R&D program, and $95 million for the Cross Cutting Program, all which are funded
and administered by DOE’s Fossil Energy R&D program. By providing this critical funding, we will continue the vital research being conducted on technologies to utilize our nation’s vast coal, oil, and natural gas resources. We appreciate your support you have
provided for the Fossil Energy R&D program in the past.
The Fossil Energy R&D program has a proven record of accomplishment of developing and cultivating technologies that deliver real, tangible benefits. This program is directly responsible for developing control technologies that are used at 75% of our domestic
coal-burning power plants, which reduced SO2 and NOx by an average of 85%.
As you know, coal is essential to the U.S. economy and provided for 18.5% of total U.S. energy consumption, and approximately 30% of U.S. electric power generation in 2017, and is projected by the U.S. Energy Information Administration to provide nearly
30% of our electricity needs in 2040. However, our existing baseload fleet is being called upon in today’s markets to operate more flexibly in a range of cycling modes, which accelerates their wear and tear and compromise their operations. DOE-supported R&D
is needed to improve the efficiency and maintain the reliability of operations of existing units under a range of “cycling modes”. This is why the Department’s Coal R&D program is increasingly important as coal continues to face challenges both home and abroad
Similarly, the U.S. has a wealth of oil and gas resources that – thanks in part to DOE’s Natural Gas R&D program – is being produced here at home through hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques. However, even with projected low cost natural
gas over the next decade, there is mounting pressure to reduce emissions associated with natural gas production and distribution of this valuable resource.
In addition, it is imperative that Congress ensures that ample funding is provided to DOE’s Cross Cutting Program, a subprogram of the Coal CCS & Power Systems Program, which is aimed at improving the operations, efficiency, and environmental performance
of advanced energy systems. Particularly important is the Ultra Supercritical Materials Program and the Supercritical CO2 Materials Program. These programs are essential to deploying highly efficient generation systems that use less fuel per unit of electricity
output, which results in less emissions of CO2 and criteria pollutants, and will enable U.S. suppliers to manufacture these products at home and export the components and know-how to countries that are building coal fired power generating stations. While it
is important, that Congress continues to support DOE’s efforts in advancing CCS technology, it is equally important for Congress to support DOE’s efforts to advance technology that will enable the development of a highly efficient coal fleet both at home and
around the world.
Despite potential challenges, we have witnessed the promise of technology to address environmental and economic challenges in the past. The formula for past success, which we believe will also provide future success, is for government and the private sector
to collaborate and cost-share in research, development, and demonstration of new and improved technologies.
There are many technologies in the DOE Coal CCS & Power Systems Program that are readying for small and large scale pilot testing, which provide the information necessary to understand both the technical and cost risk to justify further investment in commercial-scale
demonstrations. However, pilot scale projects are still early enough in the technology development timeline that the time to commercialization and the risk that the process might not work at scale makes both commercial and private sector financing difficult
to justify. Given the timing of commercialization to achieve a return on investment for energy sector technologies, funding for pilots are often more challenging than either basic research or full-scale commercial-scale demonstrations, and federal support
at each of these stages is critical to commercialize such technologies. We encourage DOE to fund projects appropriate for either the small or large-scale demonstrations, as well as Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) studies necessary to move technologies
toward commercial-scale demonstration.
Over the last 40 years, technology advances have led to impressive improvements in coal’s environmental footprint. Compared to 1970, today’s plants emit 95% less SO2 and NOx, and 90% less mercury. Significant advances also have been achieved in managing
solid wastes from coal combustion. Importantly, today’s modem coal-fueled power plants can achieve conversion efficiencies of 39% and more compared to coal plants constructed in the 1970’s that achieved conversion efficiencies of 33% or less. These increases
in efficiency alone result in more than a 15% reduction in potential CO2 emissions. The collaborative RD&D now underway between DOE and industry to address CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants is significant, and with continued support, these programs
can reach targets for cost and performance that are highly competitive with all other forms of clean energy generation.
Our specific requests within the FE R&D program are as follows:
$435 million for Coal CCS & Advanced Power Systems Program,
to perform research and development as well as pilot scale activities that will improve the performance of coal-fired power plants. This includes scale-up of carbon capture and storage research for existing and new coal-fired power plants; advancement
of coal gasification systems; development of transformational energy conversion systems including pressurized oxycombustion, supercritical CO2 cycles, and chemical looping technologies; advancement of turbine technology for higher efficiency and pressure cycles;
development of fuel cells and coal-biomass to liquid fuels; development of advanced water management technologies; and continued investigation of rare earths recovery from coal and coal refuse. We have included in this amount additional funding for a modular
designed coal fired plant of the future.
$171 million for fossil energy R&D Program Direction, in order to maintain current funding for salaries and the operation of the Office of Fossil Energy and its National Energy Technology Laboratory as well as support critical infrastructure
upgrades including supercomputing;
$100 million for natural gas and oil research & development,
in order to address environmental and related issues associated with production of unconventional natural gas and oil, including shale gas, gas hydrates; oil shale and oil shale research; and environmentally safe recovery from deepwater and ultra-deepwater
offshore environments; as well as development of emissions control technologies for natural gas fired systems;
$95 million for the Cross Cutting Program supports several subprograms aimed at improving the operations, efficiency, and environmental performance of advanced energy systems. Particularly important is the Advanced Ultra Supercritical (AUSC)
Materials Program and the Supercritical CO2 Materials Program, and the public-private sector partnership to develop an AUSC component test facility to test, under real operating conditions, U.S. developed materials and manufactured equipment for high efficiency
systems of the future.
$17 million for plant and capital equipment, in order to implement and maintain equipment, systems, and processes to achieve federally mandated energy conservation requirements at all of NETL’s laboratory and office facilities; and
$11 million for environmental restoration, in order to maintain and implement federally mandated safety, health, and security programs and systems at all of NETL’s laboratory and office facilities.
This year, we call on your leadership and commitment to this program again. By supporting a Fossil Energy R&D budget of $829 million for the line items cited above, these dollars will provide great benefits for our environment; our energy security; holding
consumer energy prices to low levels while maintaining grid reliability; protecting and creating American jobs; and strengthening our global industrial competitiveness. Your continued, vigorous oversight to ensure that DOE administers FE R&D funding pursuant
to Congressional intent, without redirection between internal accounts is critical to its success. However, we recognize the challenging funding decisions that this Committee must make and sincerely thank you for your consideration of our request.
Thank you for your consideration of our request; we are happy to answer any questions you may have.
David B. McKinley, P.E. Mike Doyle
Member of Congress Member of Congress
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